‘Dune: Part Two’ Posting Spicy $11 Million+ Previews – Early Friday AM Box Office Update

‘Dune: Part Two’ Posting Spicy $11 Million+ Previews – Early Friday AM Box Office Update

UPDATED FRIDAY AM, POST EXCLUSIVE: Warners has yet to report their official number this morning, but we’ve heard it has now grown to $11M+ per industry sources. 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.

The last Dune saw $5.1M previews delivering a $17.5M opening day or 29%. Again that $11M includes around $2M made from a Imax fan screening earlier this week.

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 Powerade (hey, it’s Utah!).

The last Dune received an A- CinemaScore.  Imax, Dolby Cinema and PLFs were a massive driver with 50% of the pic’s weekend business which was $41M (again, it was day-and-date due to Covid on HBO Max). Imax theaters alone delivered $9M from 404 screens on the opening weekend of the first Dune or 22.5%.

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

Megaplex denizens drinking blue worm juice.

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

Legendary Entertainment/Warner BrosDune: 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.

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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.