‘Dune’ Outmaneuvers Halloween Box Office Sand Trap

With Halloween falling on a Sunday, the domestic box office saw Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi reboot Dune generate $15.5 million in estimated ticket sales across a sluggish weekend. The tally upped director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s same-titled 1965 novel to $69.4 million in 10 days across North American screens, and $250 million worldwide.

The movie is streaming concurrently for free to HBO Max subscribers in the U.S. Warner and Legendary have already greenlighted a sequel for 2023.

Among new releases, Funimation’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission saw led the small field with $6.5 million in ticket sales across 1,600 screens — underscoring the company’s ongoing success bringing anime content to the big screen. The result topped competitors Last Night in Soho (Focus Features) and Searchlight Pictures’ Antlers with $4.2 million in revenue, respectively. The latter’s Wes Anderson release, The Last Dispatch, generated $2.8 million in revenue across 788 screens.

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Among theatrical returnees, Halloween Kills predictably topped all horror films, generating $8.5 million in North American revenue, and upping its domestic gross to $85 million and $115 million worldwide.

MGM’s latest James Bond movie No Time to Die generated $7.8 million in revenue across its fourth North American weekend, upping the total to $133 million, $539 million globally. Sony Pictures’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage added $5.75 million, to up its five-weekend domestic tally to $190 million; $360 million worldwide.

Warner’s ‘Dune’ Opens to $40.1 Million North American Box Office

Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi reboot Dune generated an estimated $40 million in opening weekend ticket sales across more than 4,100 screens — matching industry and studio projections. Director Denis Villeneuve’s big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s same-named 1965 sci-fi novel generated another $20 million in China to push its global box office earnings past $200 million. More than 22% of Dune moviegoers reportedly frequented Imax screens.

The results aren’t surprising, considering Dune generated more than $5 million in “sneak peak” Oct. 21 screenings, and had generated $130 million internationally ahead of launches in the United States and China.

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The results represent a win for WarnerMedia, which is also streaming Dune free to HBO Max subscribers. The box office take tops Warner’s previous opening weekend box office leader Godzilla vs. Kong, which opened to $31.7 million in ticket sales.

WarnerMedia created controversy late last year when it announced its intent to simultaneously stream its entire 2021 theatrical release slate on HBO Max in the hopes of jumpstarting subscriptions and circumventing theaters handicapped by the pandemic.

After a strong start with Wonder Woman 1984 and Godzilla vs. Kong, subsequent releases seemed to underperform due in large part to their availability on HBO Max. As a result, in 2022 all major Warner releases will have a shortened 45-day exclusive theatrical window, while smaller releases will stream concurrently (and exclusively) on Max.

“I’m smiling,” Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros., said in a media statement. “Exhibitors are thrilled. The best part is, fans are loving what they’re seeing. They’re loving the big-screen experience. It’s been a winner of a weekend for movie-lovers.”

Warner/Legendary’s ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Smashes Pandemic Box Office With $48.5 Million 5-Day Haul

The domestic box office renaissance got a big boost from two cultural monsters as Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment’s Godzilla vs. Kong destroyed the underwhelming theatrical weekend norm, generating an estimated $32.2 million over three three days through April 4, and $48.5 million over five days across 3,000 screens operating at 25% capacity. The tally easily surpassed previous Warner pandemic frontrunners Tenet ($20.2 million), Wonder Woman 1984 ($16.7 million) and Tom & Jerry ($14 million).

The tally is equally impressive considering all four movies were available for free simultaneously to subscribers on HBO Max.

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Godzilla vs. Kong, which has totaled more than $285.4 million worldwide since its international release March 25, performed just below the franchise’s previous release, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which generated $47.7 million in the first 72 hours of release across more than 4,000 screens in pre-pandemic 2019. Tenet continues to lead the pandemic-era box office with more than $363 million in global ticket sales.

“The global reception to the theatrical release of this film is a positive sign for moviegoing as people continue to look toward entertainment in a post-pandemic world,” Mary Parent, vice chairman of global production, at Legendary, said in a statement.

Other top-performing titles included Screen Gems’ The Unholy with $3.2 million across 1,850 screens; the previous week’s chart topper, Nobody (Universal Pictures), with $3 million ($11.8 million total); Disney/Pixar’s Raya and the Last Dragon with $2 million ($32.2 million); Tom & Jerry (Warner) with $1.4 million ($39.5 million); newcomer The Girl Who Believes in Miracles (Atlas Distribution) with $580,000; The Courier (Roadside) with $452,000 ($4.2 million); Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking with $380,000 ($12.2 million); Universal’s The Croods: A New Age with $210,000 ($56.3 million); and Sony Pictures Classic’s French Exit with $190,000.