The Box Office Must Flow: Dune Targeting A Higher U.S. Theatrical Opening Than Anticipated

Image courtesy WB
With the weekend still in play, it looks like WB's latest release will actually do better than most analysts had initially anticipated. Denis Villeneuve's Dune has ruled the pop culture landscape for the weekend and will continue doing so as box office numbers have come in higher than most thought. For a while there was even talk that this might end up being a mild failure along the lines of his Blade Runner 2049, a beautiful looking film that just didn't make a ton of money during its theatrical jaunt. Tonight, box office analysts are thinking the movie may end up making quite a bit more than thought. As most critics have reviewed the movie with plenty of positive reinforcement, this franchise starter may end up having some legs with steady repeat viewings. 

Last week, the film looked to make somewhere between $32 million and $35 million. With HBO Max members allowed to stream it at home as part of their monthly fee, it could have really seen financial harm. However, the numbers seem to be heading higher than first expected. Current projections see the film heading somewhere north of $39 million for its first weekend which would include early Thursday night preview screenings. Dune took in roughly $17 million on Friday alone. 

WarnerMedia chair Ann Sarnoff told Variety that they're also taking HBO Max numbers into account when making their final decision about the planned sequel. The reported cost of production of the film was $165 million. Current estimates see the movie crossing $200 million after this weekends cumulative total comes in.