Dune has managed to make a considerable impression in the North America Box Office collections despite its much protested HBO Max release along with theater release plans. The film scored a mega-successful income of 40.1 million dollars in ticket sales during its first week as the movie premiered across North American cinema houses. The sci-fi film rendition, hence, opened with a big bang, just as you would have expected from a cinematic production of such immense magnitude and impressionable cast.
The Warner Bros. production, starring Timothee Chalamet, launched its collective project with Legendary Entertainment production for home screening on HBO Max just as it was screened in theaters. The strategy was first decided upon as the film producers tried battling the COVID situation but also released their film. The film was already much-awaited, and with the trailers and more shots from the movie already made public, it was necessary that the film be released on schedule.
While it was a sound policy regarding the strictest of terms concerned with the pandemic, filmmaker Daniel Villeneuve did not support the decision. The director was of the view strongly that a film with such cinematic brilliance ought to get its due esteem on the big screens, and only an exclusive cinema release could help better regard the work put into the cinematic masterpiece.
As he protested the Warner Bros. decision of HBO Ma release along with cinema screenings, Villeneuve wrote in a statement to Variety: "I strongly believe the future of cinema will be on the big screen, no matter what any Wall Street dilettante says." Yet, Warner Bros have gone ahead with their decision since and are stating that the film will once again be released for an all-inclusive only theatrical release next year.
Nevertheless, Dune has been the talk of the town for a long while now, and the multi-million film production has done well at the box office. The film is budgeted at $165 million, and is getting to become the best domestic opening film from the Warner Bro. studios in a long time sure helps with its popularity. In fact, the film easily surpassed the $31.7 million opening debut of Godzilla vs. Kong, which was released earlier this year in March. It also narrowly managed to override the expectations of about $30-35 million as it garnered around $40.1 million from domestic collections.
Jeff Goldstein, the distribution chief of Warner Bros. shared his elation at the whopping opening numbers. His demeanor strongly suggested that the Warner Bros. studios generally expected movie fanatics to make a trip to the nearest cinemas to enjoy the gigantic scale of the movie on the big screen. Goldstein said, "This was a tremendous result as we're ramping out of the pandemic. Once we get out of the pandemic, if we have a movie like this, clearly, you'd want to go into theaters first. There's no question of that."
And yet, Goldstein himself suggested a few gross estimates relaying that the film could have seen an increase of at least 20% more in box office collections if it was not simultaneously released on HBO Max. Nevertheless, no records are yet available to discern how the film has managed to impress on the streaming service.
The international figures for Dune theatrical collections are not disappointing either. The sci-fi film garnered around $130 million from international screens out of North America with $21.6 million coming from China alone. The distribution in the country has been handled by Legendary and Wanda. The all-inclusive collections globally fall just about $220.7 million with around $47.4 added additionally from the international viewership.
Dune's latest rendition came as a second venture into the adaptation of 'Dune' the original novel series from Frank Herbert from 1965. The first film, though, eventually became a cult classic and was often ridiculed for its gigantic production and a story ahead of its times. The earlier version was released in 1984 and was directed by David Lynch. The 2021 Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya starrer version has gathered more appreciation and love than the previous variant.
This take on the novel follows only about the first half of the book, starring other famous actors like Oscar Issac, Rebecca Ferguson, and Javier Bardem. As more of the novel is yet to be explored on the screens, a sequel could be coming up soon enough. The story follows a desert planet, Arrakis, situated in a utopian galactic empire where faster than the speed of light travel is possible. The 'spices' so coveted by the Houses of the planets from the empire help attain astonishing speed, strength, and agility leading to ruthless battles amongst the people for ownership.
Apart from the fetching storyline, Dune has managed to score an overall grade A CinemaScore. Rotten Tomatoes critics have honored the film with an 83% score, and a lot of praise has been shed for the film's galactic pace and extraordinary craftsmanship by Villeneuve, where the directorial is concerned. The film also managed to captivate the most audience through IMAX screens which added around $9 million to the overall ticket sale values.
Paul Dergarabedian came forward to appreciate the general Warner Bros. strategy of two consecutive cinema screen and streaming website releases. He said, "What I think Warner's strategy has proven is that movie fans, by and large, will choose the movie theater experience when given the choice — particularly for movies like this. This should be a very encouraging sign for theater owners. The allure of the movie theater remains whether a piece of content is available at home or not."