Dune Wins Its Second Box Office Crown In The Wake Of The Excellent Dune 2 News

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica in Dune
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The attitude surrounding Denis Villenueve’s Dune this weekend was vastly different than what was experienced when it debuted in theaters earlier this month. Prior to the movie’s first Friday-to-Sunday, there was a great deal of excitement – but there was also underlying concern that it could potentially be a one-off experience, with the much-needed sequel having not received a studio greenlight. Now, following the excellent news from this past Tuesday, the blockbuster is doing a kind of victory lap, and the end result is another box office crown.

Check out the full Top 10 for the weekend below, and join me after for analysis!

Weekend Box Office CinemaBlend Dune 10/29-31

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)
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1. Dune$15,530,000 $69,401,232 14,125
2. Halloween Kills$8,500,000 $85,633,610 23,616
3. No Time To Die$7,818,525 $133,329,260 33,507
4. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission$6,400,000 $6,400,000 Row 3 - Cell 3 1,581
5. Venom: Let There Be Carnage$5,750,000 $190,441,558 43,278
6. Antlers$4,160,000 $4,160,000 Row 5 - Cell 3 2,800
7. Last Night In Soho$4,160,000 $4,160,000 Row 6 - Cell 3 3,016
8. Ron’s Gone Wrong$3,828,000 $12,639,987 53,560
9. The Addams Family 2$3,276,353 $52,857,872 62,757
10. The French Dispatch$2,759,000 $4,636,210 9788

With the big screen future of the Dune franchise made certain after a long period of simply being hypothetical, the film’s performance at the box office this weekend isn’t as significant a narrative as what we saw when it first opened – but it is most definitely worth noting that the movie still managed to pull off something notable. Those who have been tracking the performance of titles with hybrid release models in 2021 know that there has been a devastating trend forming… but Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic didn’t fall victim.

Films that have premiered simultaneously in theaters and on streaming services this year have had some killer starts where ticket sales are concerned, but the extremely troubling trend that has developed is that those sales quickly dry up. The consistent suggestion from this data has been that everyone who is excited to see a particular movie in cinemas does so during its debut, and then everyone else in following weeks just opts for playing it in their living room. Major releases like Cate Shortland’s Black Widow, Malcolm D. Lee’s Space Jam: A New Legacy, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills dropped between 68 and 71 percent from weekend-to-weekend as they debuted in the last few months.

Like all of the other titles on the Warner Bros. slate in 2021, Dune is available to watch now both in theaters and on HBO Max – but its percentage drop in its sophomore Friday-to-Sunday isn’t nearly as severe as other titles that have come out the same way. After having made $41 million in its first three days, the $15.5 million it has earned since October 29 means that it fell 62 percent, and while that’s definitely not something to widely promote, it’s certainly a better performance than all of the features mentioned in the paragraph above. Combined with the fact that Dune had the biggest opening of any WB title since January, that means the movie is on its way to being called the studio’s greatest success story of the year.

To date, Dune has made $69.4 million domestically, and combined with it has brought in from abroad its international total presently stands at $292.1 million. That means that it is still lingering outside the Top 10 for worldwide totals this year, but it should surpass John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II (which made $297.1 during its theatrical run) in the next few days, and that will put it in eleventh place for the year. (Shawn Levy’s Free Guy is currently ranked tenth, having made $323.9 million globally.)

Dune Oscar Isaac Josh Brolin and Stephen McKinley Henderson represent House Atreides

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

What’s good news for Dune, unfortunately, leaves mostly bad news for just about everyone else – particularly the two new wide releases that came out this past Friday. There was hope that celebration of Halloween would lead the horror duo of Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho and Scott Cooper’s Antlers to become holiday successes, but instead they both managed to make approximately the same amount of money and open outside of the Top 5.

Early estimates say that both films made $4.2 million this weekend (expect final numbers to break the tie) – though Antlers made the money while playing in 200 fewer locations. They won’t be considered flops, as surely neither title carries a massive price tag, but the results are disappointing. Both were originally intended to be 2020 releases and were delayed so that they could play to crowded theaters, and the idea of releasing them during the Halloween weekend certainly seemed like a smart strategy. Things unfortunately didn’t pan out as hoped, perhaps partially because of the unfortunate placement of October 31 on a Sunday this year (on that note, Happy Halloween, folks!)

While Last Night In Soho and Antlers failed to do much business, the stand-out surprise from this past weekend is definitely Kenji Nagasaki's My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission. The animated film from Japan only played in 1,581 locations this past weekend, but it still managed to rake in $6.4 million and take over fourth place in the Top 10. This marks the second time this year that a similar event has happened at the box office, as Haruo Sotozaki’s Demon Slayer nearly stole first place from Simon McQuoid’s Mortal Kombat back in April. Before it was done playing on the big screen, Demon Slayer managed to make a solid $47.7 million, and while My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission likely won’t make that kind of impact, it could wind up making a solid amount of money before its done playing domestically.

Looking ahead, we have the start of November coming up tomorrow, and with the first weekend of the month we will see the arrival of the latest blockbuster from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Chloe Zhao’s Eternals. The film is part of the biggest movie franchise on the planet, and sports an outstanding cast that includes Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie – but as things presently stand it is a bit of a question mark in regards to how it will perform at the box office. Will it be able to match the high water mark set for Marvel titles this year by Black Widow and Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings? I’ll be delivering the answer to that question next Sunday when the numbers roll in, so be sure to head back here to CinemaBlend then!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.