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Box Office: ‘Dune 2’ Delivers on Promise With Big $81.5M Domestic Opening



Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Dune: Part Two has delivered on its promise to reenergize the box office after a terrible early winter.


via: Variety


Director Denis Villeneuve‘s big-budget sequel has collected $81.5 million in its domestic debut and delivered a mighty, necessary jolt for struggling movie theaters. It’s the biggest opening weekend of the year and the largest since last October’s Taylor Swift concert film “The Eras Tour” ($93 million).


“This is an outstanding opening for a science-fiction [sequel],” says David A. Gross of movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “Audiences are connecting with these human, vulnerable [characters].”


Buoyed by positive reviews and glowing word-of-mouth (it has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and “A” CinemaScore), “Dune 2” seems to have expanded its fanbase beyond sci-fi buffs and arrived on the higher end of expectations. Heading into the weekend, Warner Bros., the studio behind the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal 1965 novel, conservatively projected a $65 million start, though most box office prognosticators believed that revenues would surpass $80 million.

At the international box office, the sequel added $97 million for a massive global tally of $178 million.


“It’s really permeated the culture,” says “Dune” producer Mary Parent. “All signs point toward a long play.”


Like the first film, “Dune: Part Two” is especially popular in Imax and other premium large formats. PLFs, as they are known in the industry, contributed a massive 48% of the film’s domestic tally. Meanwhile, Imax accounted for $18.5 million of ticket sales, representing 23% of the marketshare. Demand to watch on 70mm film — the director’s format of choice — has been so high that some brave moviegoers have resorted to 3:15 a.m. showtimes. (Yes, a.m.)





I'm going to go see Dune 2 again, this time in IMAX. After seeing the film in the Dolby theater in Lincoln Square on Thursday, I finally found the words to express my thoughts about the film, because it was a lot to take in and digest.


There were moments in the film where I became overwhelmed with emotion, and literally started crying uncontrollably. One scene was when Paul had finally become the Muad'Dib, and he says to the Fremen that no one in the room can challenge him, after drinking the water of life.


That was a powerful scene that I felt through my entire body, especially when he would look at some of the Fremen and tell them things about their lives that only they would know. I also loved the conversations throughout the film where the different classes of Fremen would question the ideas of religion, and if such thing as a massiah existed.


Javier Bardem was excellent as Stilgar, and provided the films much needed balance of comedy relief, and ferocious warrior seriousness. He was also great at conveying the much needed emotion the film asked for in regards to convincing non believers (the characters in the film and the viewers watching) whether or not Paul was in fact The One.


Josh Brolin was also excellent in his role as Gurney Halleck, a strong ally in the House Atreides who trained Paul in the first film.





I also loved Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, and how she used blind faith and the prophecy surrounding Paul as a way to manipulate the Fremen (by "starting with the weak ones"). Then again I pretty much love Rebecca in anything she does.


Anya Taylor Joy's cameo as Alia, Paul's unborn little sister was excellent as well and fingers crossed she's included in Dune Messiah...unless Denis has plans to cast Alia as a little girl like in the book.


Zendaya was pretty good in her role as Chiani, but there were times in some of her scenes where she played up the angry female warrior a bit too much. I was hoping for a little more range, but maybe she was just following directions from Denis.





It was kind of the way I felt about Dave Bautista's Glossu Rabban aka The Beast character. Any other time there have been directors who have pulled good acting moments out of him (Denis was able to pull some good acting out of Dave in Blade Runner 2049), but I wasn't totally convinced of his character in Dune 2.


Another scene that got me was when he silenced the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam. Also the fight scene between Paul and Feyd-Rautha, while good felt anticlimactic to me.





Austin Butler was great in the role, but I wish they would have utilized Feyd's character a bit more so that his final fight with Paul would have been more impactful.


Speaking of Feyd, I also thought the gladiator arena scene where he fought three of the last remaining members of the House Atreides was the most beautifully shot sequence I've seen on screen in a long time. Loved the cinematography during that scene.


Austin Butler also confirmed in an interview with Access Hollywood that his kiss with co-star Stellan Skarsgård in “Dune: Part Two” was improvised on his behalf. The kiss between Butler’s Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen and Skarsgård’s Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is unexpected and creepy as the characters are nephew and uncle, but it reaffirms Feyd-Rautha’s devotion to his uncle and deep desire to be him. That’s also why Butler mimicked Skarsgård’s speaking voice while crafting his own accent for Feyd-Rautha.


When I first saw the scene I will admit I was uncomfortable because it was incestuous. However I thought it was part of the Harkonnen custom so I let it pass through me like bad gas.


After Paul had the emperor (Christopher Walken) abdicate the throne, took princess Irulan's (Florence Pugh) hand in marriage, and had the Fremen show the other houses paradise after they refused to accept him as their new emperor, I'm quite excited to see what Denis has cooking up for Dune Messiah, which he has said will be his final Dune film.


I was also wondering while watching Dune 2 how do the Fremen get off the sand worms aka the shi halud? We always saw how they would call for them and get on the shi halud, but Denis never revealed how they got off them. Not only that, but how did they get a whole entourage of Fremen with tents get on the worms?


Other than that in my opinion Dune 2 needs to be nominated for all the 2025 Oscars including Best Picture, because it's by far my favorite film of 2024.



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