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Dune Passes $75M At International Box Office Ahead Of US Release


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At the international box office this weekend, Dune continues to make noise ahead of its domestic debut next month. Denis Villeneuve's Dune comes with some high expectations attached to it. The Oscar-nominated director is well known for his expert handling of cerebral sci-fi stories (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049), so he seems like the ideal person to tackle Frank Herbert's iconic 1965 novel. However, Dune still boasts a sizable budget and is working with a source material that many have struggled with in the past. There's much interest in seeing how the movie will perform when it debuts in U.S. theaters in late October (It will also be available via HBO Max for free).

So far, though, Dune is proving to be a success overseas. Last weekend, the movie earned $36.8 million from 24 markets, a figure that put it on track to surpass comparable big-budget tentpoles. Villeneuve has planned on making at least two Dune movies, but the creation of the second depends on the first's performance. Though Warner Bros. appears to be putting more emphasis on streaming, Dune still needs to make an impact at the box office to be deemed a success.

RELATED: Dune’s Shorter Runtime Is Good For Avoiding Blade Runner 2049’S Failure

If the international numbers are any indication, it will do well domestically. According to Deadline, Dune expanded to 32 markets this weekend and earned an additional $26.3 million (a respectable 32% drop from last weekend). That puts its total at $76.5 million, a number that is still pacing ahead of comparable titles like Tenet (+12%), Black Widow (+49%), and Blade Runner 2049 (+73%). Dune was #1 in major markets like Russia, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

The next few weeks will see the debuts of other major movies like No Time to Die and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, so Dune's international domination could come to an end. Nevertheless, with several international markets still to go (such as China) as well as its domestic debut, Dune still has plenty of opportunities to add to its growing total. It's still hard to say how it will fare in places like the United States and China, but the early buzz is so far favorable. It helps that Dune earned generally positive reviews after its festival debut, and that it holds a star-studded cast including the likes of Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, and Zendaya.

The international box office has demonstrated clearer signs of recovery than the domestic one, helping to ensure that Hollywood releases can reach their financial potential. No one will know how Dune might've fared outside of the pandemic, but that so far doesn't appear to be a major obstacle. Instead, the tricky source material and dual streaming debut could perhaps be the biggest things standing in Dune's way box office-wise. Based on these early numbers, though, those might not even be a huge issue either

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