Sci-Fi Epic ‘Dune’ Debut Spices Up Box Office With $40.1 Million First Place Finish

Warner Bros.’ big-budget sci-fi epic Dune spiced up the box office this weekend with a $40.1 million domestic debut.

Topping predictions that had the star-studded spectacle opening in the $30-$35 million range, director Denis Villenueve’s eye-candy adventure easily snagged the top spot in North America (where it is also streaming on HBO Max) and continued to clean up overseas, where it has been playing for weeks.

But with the movie’s hefty $165 million price tag, will Dune’s performance prove strong enough for the studio to green light its proposed sequel? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, Wes Anderson’s latest indie curio, The French Dispatch, got off to a hot start in the specialty market, where it earned the biggest per-screen average for any film—big or small—of 2021.Dune’s first-place finish was a good sign for a film that was always going to be a tough sell to ticket buyers.

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