Dune Earns a Solid Box Office Debut

Dune earned a solid debut upon its opening at the international box office.

Director Denis Villeneuve's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel opened at the international box office this weekend, earning $35.8 million, according to Variety. The film is currently No. 1 across 24 overseas markets, ranking the strongest in Russia with $7.6 million from 2,100 screens, followed by $7.5 million in France across 892 screens, $4.9 million from Germany, and $2.6 million in Italy. Dune earned $3.6 million from IMAX screens alone.

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Dune's global opening far outshines Clint Eastwood's latest film, Cry Macho, which collected $350,000 in 18 international markets across 585 screens. Overall, Eastwood's Western drama earned $4.8 million globally after debuting in North America both in theaters and on HBO Max.

On top of its successful international opening, Dune recently secured a release date in China for Oct. 22, a market where several Hollywood films have not been able to play, such as Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which earned a worldwide total of $320 million and currently stands as the fourth-highest grossing movie of 2021 just three weeks into its stint exclusively in theaters.

While Dune is not set to release in North American theaters until October, reviews have already begun to flood in following the film's premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 3. The sci-fi epic currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 90% amassed from 67 reviews, at the time of writing. According to critics, the film is a "masterpiece" of cinema and a "once-in-a-generation film."

Villeneuve's Dune is slated to release simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on Oct. 22 after its original release date was changed several times due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is the second big-screen adaptation of the classic 1965 sci-fi novel of the same name, after David Lynch's Dune in 1984. Villeneuve previously stated that he is ready to start shooting a Dune sequel as early as next year, pending it receives the green light from Warner Bros. The film already has a prequel series titled Dune: Sisterhood planned for release on HBO Max, which will follow the Bene Gesserit, an all-female organization that serves as a key social, religious, and political force in the Dune mythology.

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