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411 Box Office Report: Dune: Part Two Revives Box Office With $81.5 Million Start

March 3, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Dune: Part Two Timothee Chalamet Zendaya Image Credit: Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

The box office came back to life this weekend thanks to Dune: Part Two, which blew past expectations in its opening weekend. Denis Villenueve’s follow-up to his 2021 hit led the way with $81.5 million, opening well above the mid-$70 million start expected going into the weekend. The opening is the best since Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour started with $93.2 million back in October and reps a major win for a year that got off to a lackluster start due to strike delays in major films.

Dune: Part Two opened massively ahead of the first film’s $41 million opening in October of 2021, though it must be said that the first entry arrived as the box office was still trying to recover from lockdowns and had a same-day release on HBO Max. This is a big win for Warner Bros., especially when you add in the hefty $97 million overseas take for a $178.5 million worldwide start.

Anticipation was high for the film coming into the weekend, and the buzz was through the roof. The first film was a critical hit that managed to leg its way to blockbuster numbers despite the lower start, and Part Two is following in those footsteps. The film has a 94% positive aggregated critical score on Rotten Tomatoes – but the bigger metric is the word of mouth. The sequel has a 95% RT audience score, ahead of the first’s 90%, while the CinemaScore is also higher at an A (the first had an A-).

All this means that the film is primed to become the first blockbuster hit of 2024. Dune: Part Two was an expensive affair with a $190 million budget, but it is on course to easily make money even with that in mind. There won’t be direct blockbuster-style competition for adult audiences until Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire arrives in three weeks, and with that in mind a $250 million domestic final seems incredibly likely (and perhaps undershooting) with the overseas numbers pushing it to massive hit territory.

Bob Marley: One Love held on fairly decently while slipping to #2 in its third week. The music biopic grossed $7.4 million for the weekend, down 45% from last weekend’s numbers. The Paramount film is in fine shape at this point with $82.8 million domestically and $146.1 million worldwide against a $70 million budget. It’s looking increasingly likely to surpass $100 million stateside and will be a profitable venture for the studio.

Holding steady at #3 was the Ordinary Angels. The Lionsgate faith-based drama was down just 38% in its sophomore weekend with $3.9 million, a strong hold for the genre. Ordinary Angels is performing similarly to 2022’s Father Stu and has $12.6 million thus far. It is probably set to close out in the $20 million to $23 million range, which will be a solid performance against a $12 million budget.

Madame Web had an okay hold in its third weekend with $3.2 million. That’s down 46% and leaves the Sony superhero film at $40.4 million stateside and $91 million worldwide. The film is going to be a money loser but it is still on course for relatively minimal losses for an underperforming superhero flick. It’s still aiming for around $56 million or so in the US, which won’t be enough to overcome its $80 million budget by any stretch.

The Chosen: Season 4 Episodes 7-8 showed the power of diminishing returns. The Fathom Events release of the faith-based drama episodes brought in $3.2 million, charting the lowest opening weekend of the show’s episodes to date.

Fathom has been releasing the episodes of the show in two-episode batches every two weeks, and there is a point where that will start to fall short. We’re around at that place. Compare this opening to the $5.9 million start of the first two season four episodes at the start of February. This is all fine for Fathom as these are TV episodes getting a theatrical release, so this is all icing on the cake. This batch of episodes will close out quickly like its predecessors and should end with around $8 million or so.

Migration continues to post the best holds of the top 10, down a mere 13% in its 11th weekend to tally up $2.5 million. The Illumination animated comedy has now grossed to $123.5 million in the US and $276.8 million worldwide, a major hit for Universal against a $72 million budget. Its final domestic total could surpass $130 million.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Hashira Training saw an expected big drop in its second weekend, freefalling 82% to $2.1 million. The film was hit by two major factors: the frontloaded nature of anime films, and the frontloaded nature of TV episodes airing in combined form on the big screen. Crunchyroll isn’t complaining though; To the Hashira Training has totalled $15.7 million stateside and $39.7 million worldwide, decent if not amazing numbers. It should end with around $18 million in the US.

Wonka eased 29% in its 12th weekend with $1.7 million. The fantasy prequel has reached $216.8 million domestically and $624.7 million worldwide, a megahit against a $125 million budget. It should end its North American run at around $220 million.

Argylle was down 49% in its fifth weekend to bring in $1.4 million. The action comedy has grossed $44 million domestically and $92.2 million worldwide, a money loser for Apple Original Films against a budget of $200 million. It will end its US run at around $50 million

The Beekeeper spent another weekend in the top 10, down 43% to $1.1 million. The Jason Statham action thriller is a sizable hit at this point for Amazon-MGM with $64.9 million domestically and $151.4 million worldwide against a $40 million production budget. It will close out at around $67 million or so.

Dune: Part Two should rule for a second weekend next frame, though it may have tough competition in Kung Fu Panda 4 which is looking for a mid-to-high $30 million start. Lionsgate’s horror film Imaginary is looking at around $10 million to $12 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Dune: Part Two – $81.5 million ($81.5 million total, $178.5 million WW)
2. Bob Marley: One Love – $7.4 million ($82.8 million total, $146.1 million WW)
3. Ordinary Angels – $3.9 million ($12.6 million total, $12.6 million WW)
4. Madame Web – $3.2 million ($40.4 million total, $91 million WW)
5. The Chosen: Season 4 Episodes 7-8 – $3.2 million ($3.9 million total, $3.9 million WW)
6. Migration – $2.5 million ($123.5 million total, $276.8 million WW)
7. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Hashira Training – $2.1 million ($15.7 million total, $39.7 million WW)
8. Wonka – $1.7 million ($216.8 million total, $624.7 million WW)
9. Argylle – $1.4 million ($44 million total, $92.2 million WW)
10. The Beekeeper – $1.1 million ($64.9 million total, $151.4 million WW)