Warner Bros/Legendary’s Dune is off to an epic start at the box office in France. The Denis Villeneuve-directed adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic world-building 1965 novel grossed $1.55M in its first day on Wednesday (including Tuesday night previews). This is the market’s fourth best launch day of all time for the month of September.
The Wednesday haul also makes it the best Day One for Villeneuve ever in France. Total admissions were 181,316 — grosses were pumped up by overperforming premium formats. The first 2pm screenings in Paris on Wednesday set a new benchmark for the pandemic.
Dune is coming off of a triumphant world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and also held a special event screening at Paris’ Grand Rex cinema on September 6. The sci-fi stunner further screened at the Deauville American Film Festival on September 10. Critical and social sentiment are high with four stars from local critics and 4.4 stars from audiences.
This weekend is the beginning of international box office rollout for Dune; a total 24 markets will be in play through tomorrow. Of the majors alongside France, that includes Germany, Russia and Italy which opened today, and Spain which goes tomorrow.
Pre-weekend industry projections pegged Dune launching in the mid-$20M range for the session. We’ll know more as the days roll along.
Arrival Oscar nominee Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune is a tale of warring families, inhospitable landscapes and giant creatures. It splits the complex tome in the middle, focusing the action in this first half on establishing the dense lore — and specifically on the young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), son of a ruling house whose fate the series tracks. Billed as Part One (a Part Two is yet to be greenlit), it concludes with Zendaya’s Chani — as seen in the trailers — intoning, “This is only the beginning.”