Denis Villeneuve’s new science fiction epic Dune debuted with $ 40.1 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend in North America, though it is also available to stream online.
The film, which stars Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya, was released in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously, raising questions about its fate at the box office.
Director Villeneuve vehemently protested against the streaming duel being released, recounting Variety last year: “I firmly believe the future of cinema will be on the big screen, no matter what any Wall Street dilettante says.”
Dune marks the best domestic opening for any of the hybrid versions of Warner Bros. to date, surpassing the debut of $ 31.7 million of Godzilla vs. Kong in March.
“This has been a tremendous result as we gradually come out of the pandemic,” said Jeff Goldstein, chief distribution officer for Warner Bros.
“Once we’re out of the pandemic, if we have a movie like this, it’s clear you’d want to go to the movies first. There is no question.
Goldstein estimated that the film would have debuted about 20% more at the box office had it not been released simultaneously.
Arrival at the weekend, Dune, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, had already grossed $ 130 million internationally.
The film, which chronicles a violent change of power on the desert planet Arrakis, is the second attempt on the big screen to adapt the epic of Frank Herbert of 1965, after the 1984 version of David Lynch.
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The Independentchief film critic, Clarisse Loughrey, gave Dune five-star, calling it “a film of such literal and emotional magnitude that it overwhelms the senses.”
Additional reports by AP