“Dune” opened this weekend to a tune of 40.1 million. It’s a solid start domestically and should give hope to fans that Frank Herbert’s novel won’t be done dirty again like David Lynch’s adaption. Unlike the 1984 version, this film is only adapting half of the epic sci-fi novel. This is both a perk and a problem.
Due to the film only adapting half of the book, it feels like half of a story. The film openly calls itself in the opening credits, “Dune Part One” and it certainly feels like it from beginning to end. The good news was that the film was able to take some time on elements of the story that would have been otherwise rushed. Still, the film’s plot is just set up for the next one. So, that begs the question. Are we getting a next one?
“Dune” was the biggest three day tally Warner Bros has seen since the start of the day and date strategy of movie releases. It’s undeniable that it did well, but it’s box office potential was capped by the fact that it released on HBO Max simultaneously. Add to that the film’s huge budget of 165 million and well it needs to do a lot better than just good enough to warrant a sequel.
That is why we are getting an influx of fans and critics encouraging people to go and see this film on the big screen. If HBO Max and box office numbers aren’t high enough, it will make Warner Bros a bit iffy about dropping another sand worm sized load of cash into a sequel.
Comments from the studio are encouraging though. Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein said on Sunday morning, “I’m smiling. 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.”
Still, until we get those HBO Max numbers or we see some record breaking domestic box office sales in the next week, the fate of a Dune sequel is still frustratingly vague for the time being.