Dune opens internationally to $36m, secures China release

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The opening figures look promising for the science-fiction spectacular Dune, as the creators behind it look to press ahead with the sequel.

Denis Villeneuve, the director of the new Dune, a science -fiction epic based on the Frank Herbert novels, is more than a bit keen to get a sequel to film rolling. In fact, he’s been talking about it a lot of late, and when a filmmaker who possesses talents like Villeneuve is inspired and wants to get creative, you can only wish him well and hope he gets what he wants.

With the current climate being what it is, it may be particularly difficult to persuade financiers that the new Dune deserves – commercially at least – a sequel upon release. After all, it’s going straight to HBO Max as well as the cinemas in the US (after some internal disagreements at Warner Bros, it would seem), plus some blockbusters are having a tough time proving their worth theatrically at the moment anyway.

However, Dune's chances of box-office success have received an early boost with the news that the film has opened to $36m internationally, including in territories like France, Italy and Germany, where severe restrictions are still in place when it comes to cinema capacity and such. That’s certainly a promising start, and the news that the film has also secured a release in China, the world’s biggest box office market, will no doubt aid the film’s chances of success even more.

With the first film hitting UK and US cinemas (and streaming platform, HBO Max in the US) next month, Villeneuve has been assured that lower box office receipts won’t hurt the film’s chances of spawning a sequel. Variety reported last week that there have been ‘assurances that diminished box office revenues won’t prohibit him from having the chance to make his follow-up feature.’

With the UK release of Dune just four weeks away, we’ll be able to judge for ourselves come October 22nd. We can’t wait, and we’re hopeful the film sparks enough interest to bag Villeneuve the sequel he so desperately wants.

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