BO Report: ‘Dune: Part Two’ pushes past the original

'Dune: Part Two'. (Photo: Niko Tavernise, Copyright: © 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

After just two weekends, Dune: Part Two has already overtaken the lifetime gross of the first film.

The Warner Bros. sequel eased just 29 per cent across its second frame to $6.1 million, meaning overall receipts now stand at $17.7 million.

2021’s Dune made $15.8 million through its initial theatrical run, with the recent re-release ahead of the launch of Part Two taking it up to $16.8 million.

However, as we mentioned last week, broad comparisons between the sequel and its predecessor are tricky, as the theatrical market was in a very different place when the latter released; it launched following months-long lockdowns in NSW and Victoria, and off the back of a dampened US release, given its day and date start on HBO Max.

In North America, Dune 2 has grossed $US157 million, meaning it has also surpassed the original’s result in that territory of $US108 million. However, it was knocked off the no. 1 spot last weekend by Kung Fu Panda 4, which does not release here until March 28.

Globally figures tally $US367.5 million so far. Australia is currently the fifth highest grossing international market, behind the UK, China (where it just released last weekend), France and Germany.

While the weekend saw a number of new titles land at the box office, little else came close to touching the sci-fi, which had a 56 per cent market share. Indeed, no other film in the market even crossed the $500K mark. Numero data puts the top 20 at $9.9 million, down 16 per cent on the previous.

Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell tells IF it was a “holding” week for his circuit, with Dune 2‘s hold “sensational” even if down a little on the national figures.

“For us older titles like Bob Marley and Zone of Interest were the key to a decent weekend, with older audiences still responding well to quality movies even in later release weeks,” he says.

The weekend’s no. 2 was Chinese boxing comedy drama Yolo, which Sony launched on 40 screens for $485,708. By screen average, it actually outperformed Dune 2, earning $12,143 per screen to its $9,116.

Not too far behind was Studiocanal Imaginary, which opened on 246 screens for $477,335, or $502,775 with previews. Directed by Jeff Wadlow, the Blumhouse teddy bear horror has earned poor reviews, with just a 32 per cent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Stateside, the film, which has a reported production budget of just $US10 million, is tracking for a $US9.3 million opening.

Heartwarming British comedy The Great Escaper, starring Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson opened in fourth position. Transmission started it on 239 screens for $473,896, and with previews, it stands at $867,214.

Bollywood supernatural thriller Shiataan, distributed by Mindblowing Films, bowed in sixth behind Bob Marley: One Love, generating $304,356 from 77 screens.

Of the holdovers, the aforementioned Bob Marley took $344,208 in its fourth frame for Paramount, moving the biopic to $6.2 million.

Robert Connolly’s local mystery Force of Nature: The Dry 2, handled by Roadshow, is now at $6.9 million after a fifth weekend result of $211,235.

Madame Web is approaching $4.5 million for Sony, pocketing $203,690 in its fourth frame, while Cyber System’s Indian Malayalam-language survival thriller Manjummel Boys is at $500,357 after taking $164,501 in its third.

Rounding out the top 10 was Madman’s The Zone of Interest, which declined just 8 per cent in its third outing to $148,469. The Jonathan Glazer Holocaust drama gained 24 screens ahead of the Oscars today (on 85 in total), where it won Best International Feature Film and Best Sound. Gross receipts stand at $889,193.

In 13th place was Australian animation Combat Wombat: Back 2 Back, which had a 22 per cent increase in its second frame to $107,557. Distributed by Maslow Entertainment, it is now at $215,731 overall.

Local documentary The Trust Fall: Julian Assange, which is being distributed independently, saw a huge jump after picking up screens with the major exhibitors – it drew $59,442 compared to the previous weekend’s $3,976. In total, it has earned $157,037 in seven weekends.

All Australian box office data is via Numero.