Friday Update: What the House of Atreides lacks in spice, it’s making up for at the foreign box office with sheer American dollars during the pandemic. Deadline has learned that the Legendary-Warner Bros. sci-fi epic Dune has risen to $8.4M through its first two days at the overseas box office from 17 markets. On Thursday alone, the film collected $4.9M.
The Denis Villeneuve-directed reboot of the Frank Herbert novel added 12 markets Thursday on top of Wednesday’s five. And keep in mind, Dune is purely theatrical overseas; it will not debut day-and-date on HBO Max, which is currently in Latin America and rolling out in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra on Oct. 26.
Of note for Dune: The ensemble feature gave Russia its best opening day of the year with $1.4M while Italy, hot off the pic’s premiere in Venice, where it received a seven-minute standing ovation, earned $500K, the third-biggest opening day of the year.
Also going to Warner Bros. coffers is $680K in Germany thanks to Dune, and it counts $1.4M with previews.
Dune played TIFF last weekend and took its Rotten Tomatoes score up to 88% fresh with the pic continuing to screen stateside prior to its Oct. 22 theatrical and HBO Max debut in the U.S. and PVOD and theatrical in Canada. The movie was shot with Imax cameras. Nancy will have more updates as they happen.
— Anthony D’Alessandro
Thursday Update: Warner Bros/Legendary’s Dune is off to an epic start at the box office in France. The Denis Villeneuve-directed adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic world-building 1965 novel grossed $1.55M in its first day on Wednesday (including Tuesday night previews). This is the market’s fourth best launch day of all time for the month of September.
The Wednesday haul also makes it the best Day One for Villeneuve ever in France. Total admissions were 181,316 — grosses were pumped up by overperforming premium formats. The first 2pm screenings in Paris on Wednesday set a new benchmark for the pandemic.
Dune is coming off of a triumphant world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and also held a special event screening at Paris’ Grand Rex cinema on September 6. The sci-fi stunner further screened at the Deauville American Film Festival on September 10. Critical and social sentiment are high with four stars from local critics and 4.4 stars from audiences.
This weekend is the beginning of international box office rollout for Dune; a total 24 markets will be in play through tomorrow. Of the majors alongside France, that includes Germany, Russia and Italy which opened today, and Spain which goes tomorrow.
Pre-weekend industry projections pegged Dune launching in the mid-$20M range for the session. We’ll know more as the days roll along.
Arrival Oscar nominee Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune is a tale of warring families, inhospitable landscapes and giant creatures. It splits the complex tome in the middle, focusing the action in this first half on establishing the dense lore — and specifically on the young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), son of a ruling house whose fate the series tracks. Billed as Part One (a Part Two is yet to be greenlit), it concludes with Zendaya’s Chani — as seen in the trailers — intoning, “This is only the beginning.”
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