Part Two’s Box Office Debut Is Twice The Size Of The First Movie

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Movie sequels very often see diminishing returns, and there’s one obvious reason for that: people who haven’t seen the first movie assume they won’t know what’s going on in the sequel. That’s a fair assumption in the case of the “Dune” movies, given that “Part One” and “Part Two” are based on two halves of Frank Herbert’s original novel, and are set in a sci-fi world that’s dense with lore. If you haven’t seen “Dune” then “Dune: Part Two” will at the very least have you asking questions like “what’s the deal with the giant worms?” or “why is Timothée Chalamet doing a silly sand walk?”

Warner Bros.’ solution to this was simply to make it as easy as possible to watch “Dune” ahead of the second movie. That meant not only a theatrical re-release and opening night double features, but also licensing “Dune” to Netflix, a streaming service with 260 million subscribers worldwide. 

It certainly helps that the “Dune” cast have spent the last few years busily racking up hits. Chalamet’s chocolate factory prequel “Wonka” recently passed $600 million at the box office. Florence Pugh played a key role in the aforementioned “Oppenheimer,” Zendaya starred in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” not long after her brief debut in “Dune,” and newcomer Austin Butler (who plays psychotic Harkonnen heir Feyd-Rautha) broke out by starring in Baz Luhrmann’s lucrative music biopic “Elvis.”

The box office can be as unpredictable as the sands of Arrakis, so only time will tell how far “Dune: Part Two” can go. Even at this early stage, though, “Dune: Messiah” is looking like an inevitability.

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