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Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ breathes a sigh of relief: the first collection figures suggest that we will have a second half

The millionaire investment that Legendary and Warner have made (there is talk of 165 million dollars) to adapt Frank Herbert’s novel had to be compensated with a box office that was up to the task. A satisfactory box office was an absolutely mandatory condition to launch this obligatory sequel that, as a minimum, complete the adaptation of the first book of the saga: this first installment shot by Denis Villeneuve and released last Friday leaves the plot completely interrupted and waiting for that second part.

The first critics of the film, unanineously positive, raised certain fears: its status as an incomplete story and its tone, serious, solemn and spiritual, far from the great blockbusters of Marvel or ‘Star Wars‘, raised some misunderstanding on the part of the public despite critical support. Villeneuve’s inflammatory statements about Marvel and the need to see the film in theaters increased fears: Villeneuve knows that he needs the proceeds in theaters for the project to be positive … and he did not seem to have them all with him.

And then there are, of course, the doubts that have arisen in recent weeks around Warner’s system of simultaneously premiering in theaters and on HBO Max. The recent and spectacular box office failures of ‘Maligno’, ‘Reminiscence’ and ‘Cry Macho’, added to the not very satisfactory of ‘The Suicide Squad’, raised concerns that the success of the beginning of the experiment, with blockbusters such as’ Godzilla vs. Kong ‘, it would have been nothing more than a mirage. Possibly that is the reason why ‘Dune’ has been released more than a month in advance in Europe with respect to the United States: to scratch some theatrical proceeds before the film hits theaters in the US and China and, consequently, HBO Max.

Box office more than satisfactory

How the film will be received in US theaters remains to be seen, but in Europe, Variety reports, the figures are encouraging: 35.8 million dollars in 24 markets. In countries like Russia or France, the results have been optimal, with more than seven million dollars of collection in each of those countries. IMAX rooms have also been important, adding 10% of total revenues, that is, around 3.6 million dollars.

It is also a good news for ‘Dune’ that it will be able to be seen in the immense and almost essential Chinese market. Asia is subject to severe restrictions due to the pandemic that is affecting countries such as Korea or Japan, and that raised concerns that the film would not reach Chinese theaters, which would have been a major blow to Warner’s prospects. Finally, it will arrive in the Asian country on October 22, as well as the United States.