It what comes as no surprise, the sequel for Dune has finally been greenlit for a October 2023 theatrical release with director, producer, and co-screenwriter Denis Villeneuve returning. Key word here is theatrical. We understand that a key point of negotiations between Legendary and Warner Bros was that part 2 of this cinema spectacle would be given a pure theatrical window; no day/date HBO Max release plans are in the mix.
The news was announced on the Legendary and WB social accounts:
This is only the beginning…
— Legendary (@Legendary) October 26, 2021
While the David Lynch 1984 feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 412-page novel crammed the whole story into one movie, it was always part of Villeneuve’s vision to spread his reboot across two films.
“I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with Dune: Part Two. It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s DUNE and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream. This is only the beginning,” said Villeneuve.
Dune overperformed its domestic projections this past weekend opening to $41M, with over half of its ticket sales driven by large format and PLF theaters. Heading into the weekend we heard that Dune had some $12M in advance tickets sales; more than any other event film during the pandemic. The pic was further bolstered by Canada, which delivered 11% of domestic weekend ticket sales; the pic being on a theatrical window up there since HBO Max isn’t available in the country. In regards to its performance on HBO Max, while WarnerMedia didn’t report any figures, Samba TV, which measures streaming viewership in 3M U.S. households, reported that 1.9M Smart TV households watch Villeneuve’s Dune over the weekend. Among the theatrical/HBO Max titles measure by Samba TV, that’s the 6th best weekend debut by a Warner Bros/HBO Max day and date title, Mortal Kombat topping that list with 3.8M. All of this is a great indicator that those who wanted to watch Dune, saw it in a movie theater. Warner Bros. launched the movie ahead in overseas markets where its current global B.O. stands at $223.2M.
WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff told Deadline last week in a sit-down that a Dune sequel was definitely in the cards, but given how Legendary is carrying 80% of the production cost, and Warners the balance.
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