‘Dune’ Soars to $223M Worldwide at the Box Office

Duncan Idaho, played by Jason Momoa, fighting Sardaukar warriors in Denis Villeneuve's Dune movie (2021).
Jason Momoa, as Duncan Idaho, in Dune. Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

Exceeding early projections, once again, Dune: Part One harvested $41M in its opening weekend at the domestic box office! It was faraway the number one movie in North America, coming in over $25M ahead of Halloween Kills (in that film’s second week). This marks the strongest three-day premiere for any Warner Bros. movie since Joker, in 2019 ($96.2M). Especially impressive, considering availability of day-and-date streaming on HBO Max (in the U.S.)—not to mention lingering impact from the pandemic.

This is also a special career milestone for Denis Villeneuve himself. The director has achieved his biggest domestic opening to date, with Dune coming in ahead of both his previous science fiction films: Arrival (2016) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017), which debuted to $24.1M and $32.7M respectively, well before the pandemic was a factor.

Villeneuve’s epic likewise won the overseas box office this weekend, taking in $49M from 75+ countries (ahead of Venom: Let There Be Carnage‘s $38.3M), to reach a cumulative total of $182.2M from international territories. Dune was the number one movie in the United Kingdom, where it premiered to a strong $8.3M. Not surprisingly, the largest contribution came from China, with an estimated $22.2M opening—second only behind local production The Battle At Lake Changjin.

Final Chinese poster for Dune: Part One. The movie premiered in mainland China on October 22, 2021.
Final Dune movie poster for China.

The film topped many of the other countries where it premiered this weekend, incl. Korea ($3.4M), Mexico ($2M), Poland ($1.3M), and Brazil ($0.9M). With it’s global total of $223.2M, Dune: Part One is now already the tenth highest grossing English-language movie of 2021, with a significant portion of its theatrical run still ahead, and expected to overtake Cruella (in ninth place) during the week.

As reported earlier; since premiering in parts of Western Europe and Southeast Asia in mid-September, Dune‘s overseas box office outpaced most other 2021 movies to hit $100M, within three weeks in those respective regions. For example; in France, Russia, Italy, Nordics, and Ukraine, the science fiction film has already far surpassed the lifetime total of F9: The Fast Saga (this year’s highest grossing English-language picture), as well as Marvel’s Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

The movie performed exceptionally well on IMAX, accounting for half of its domestic revenue and breaking a global record. With $17.8M, representing 20.3% of the worldwide total, this was the best ever October opening weekend on this premium format.

Dune now has another full weekend to reign at the box office, in domestic and some overseas markets, before Marvel’s Eternals commences its theatrical run on November 4.

Following are (estimated) Dune box office totals in the top-performing markets, as of October 24:

  • United States and Canada: $41M (opening)
  • France $27.4M (six weeks)
  • China: $22.2M (opening)
  • Russia: $20.8M (six weeks)
  • Germany: $18.9M (six weeks)
  • Spain: $8.8M (six weeks)
  • United Kingdom $8.3M (opening)
  • Italy: $8.2M (six weeks)
  • The Netherlands: $5.3M (six weeks)
  • Taiwan: $5.2M (six weeks)
  • Japan: $3.7M (two weeks)
  • Korea: $3.4M (opening)
  • Mexico: $2M (opening)
  • Poland: $1.3M (opening)
  • Brazil: $0.9M (opening)

The movie has now been released theatrically in over 81 countries. Australia and New Zealand are still to follow, on December 2.

Sources: Deadline via Nancy Tartaglione (October 25, 2021), Deadline via Anthony D’Alessandro (October 25, 2021), Box Office Mojo (October 25, 2021), and Luiz Fernando Twitter account (October 25, 2021).