‘Dune: Part Two’ Posting Spicy $12 Million In Previews – Friday AM Box Office Update

Film

UPDATED, Friday AM after Thursday EXCLUSIVE: Legendary/Warner BrosDune Part Two has now grown to $12 million-plus in previews, Warner Bros said Friday. That’s from 4,500 locations; Imax alone delivered $4.5M of that number, or 38%. Of that preview figure, $2M came from an Imax fan screening on February 25. Audience reactions have hit Rotten Tomatoes and they’re at 95%, which is great. Denis Villeneuve’s first Dune saw 83% certified fresh from RT critics and 90% from RT audiences.

Dune: Part Two preview cash is just under that of Deadpool, which did $12.7M in 2016, and it’s just under the $13M made from Warner’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (midnight show starts back in 2012). Again, those didn’t have any fan screening money built in, but that’s interesting range of fanboy comps for two movies that opened to $132.4M and $84.6M, respectively.

Dune: Part Two is roughly 10 minutes longer than the 2021 version at 2 hours and 46 minutes. Given how important it is for fans to see this movie in Imax or a premium format, it will be interesting to see whether there’s a slow burn on this. Some box office sources have assumed the sequel is front-loaded, but it’s clear Dune: Part Two demands appointment viewing; moviegoers will want the right seats in the right auditorium for a near three-hour feature. Imax, Dolby Cinema and PLFs were a massive driver on the first pic, repping 50% of its $41M 3-day (again, it was day-and-date due to Covid on HBO Max). Imax theaters alone delivered $9M from 404 screens on the first Dune for 22.5% of the weekend.

(L-r) ZENDAYA as Chani and REBECCA FERGUSON as Lady Jessica in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE: PART TWO,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release

The last Dune saw $5.1M in previews delivering a $17.5M opening day, or 29%.

Meanwhile, movie theaters are approaching this movie like it’s Star Wars. Well beyond AMC’s Sandworm popcorn bucket (which are going for close to $70 on Etsy), chains are selling Dune-themed drinks.

At Santikos Theatres in Texas the bar special is the Arrakis Sunset. At the Larry H. Miller Megaplex theaters in Utah, they’re serving blue worm juice (aka “The Water of Life”), which actually is Powerade (hey, it’s Utah!).

The last Dune received an A- CinemaScore and 4 1/2 stars, 84% positive on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak, with a 66% definite recommend.

Yesterday, Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione reported Wednesday’s offshore results, which were $7.6M (that includes previews) from 13 markets including No. 1s in each, particularly France, Italy and Korea.

EXCLUSIVE, THURSDAY PM: Welcome back to the cinema, everyone.

Legendary Entertainment/Warner Bros’ Dune: Part Two is off to a strong start with $10 million-plus in previews, per industry estimates Thursday. We hear that figure includes $2M from the Imax fan event screening that took place February 25. Note that these numbers do not come from Warner Bros, so they might be higher or lower Friday morning. Previews began at 3 p.m. today.

At $10M+, that’s the biggest preview cash we’ve seen since Barbenheimer on Thursday, July 20, when Warner Bros’ Barbie made $22.3M and Universal’s Oppenheimer did $10.5M. Also, Five Nights at Freddy’s, despite going day-and-date on Universal’s Peacock streaming service put up a great Thursday night preview of $10.3M on October 26.

Freddy’s opened to $80M, while Oppenheimer started at $82.4M. That’s the top end of where many are expecting the Denis Villeneuve-directed sequel to come in this weekend.

Far and away, Dune: Part Two‘s previews are ahead of the Thursday night of 2021’s Dune, which did $5.1M from showtimes that started at 6 p.m. They’re also ahead of John Wick: Chapter 4‘s $8.9M; that movie put up a $73.8M three-day total.

What is slightly difficult in projecting at this point is that presales for Dune: Part Two are premium-format frontloaded and standard advance ticket sales are OK, per sources. Advance ticket sales of $18M typically indicates a movie will open to north of $100M, but many in distribution circles are taking those presales with a grain of salt.

Dune: Part Two has everything going for it: 95% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with critics and a social media universe per RelishMix of 575.5M across Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. That easily blows away the 468.9M SMU of the first Dune in October 2021 which was available day-and-date on HBO Max.

Reports RelishMix: “An element in re-dating Dune 2 in the strike from the first weekend in November was clearly the social fire-power of the cast with Zendaya at 227.8M, Dave Bautista at 180.1M, Timothée Chalamet at 21.1M, Florence Pugh at 9.5M, Austin Butler at 5.2M and Josh Brolin at 3.3M.”

On the social media monitor’s rule stick that’s “full activation at 10 on a scale of 10 with all cast super social and fully activated across all social platforms.”

Nothing but sun, sun, sun for Dune as far as social media chatter goes, just like its desert setting.

Says RelishMix, “Convo tone on Dune: Part 2 runs positive with chatter on all aspects of the film — everything from the camerawork to the soundtrack is drowning in praise: ‘I am so impressed by the scale of these movies.  These are a masterclass in filmmaking; they don’t make them like this anymore.’ The ensemble cast is energizing fans, saying, ‘We get to see more of Zendaya!’ and, ‘It’s SO good to see Christopher Walken back in action again.’ Fans are unanimous that director Denis Villeneuve can be trusted to deliver the goods as always, with fans remembering his work on Dune and Blade Runner 2049. Many comps this to original The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The score, by composer Hans Zimmer, is particularly getting fans riled up. ‘That music! Goosebumps galore! Zimmer does it again!’ The film is being described as even more than a blockbuster, instead as a “complex geopolitical thriller,’ and fans want more of it: “This better be a 3+ hour movie.’”

We’ll have more updates as they come.

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