It’s always good news when a film generates a sequel, but it’s better yet with DUNE because it’s also a nail in the coffin of the day & date streaming.
With DUNE having overperformed last weekend — $41M when exhibitors were thinking $35-37M — and with its global cume now past $240M, it’s not surprising WB & Legendary Ent. will make a second episode. Director Denis Villeneuve (pictured) planned that episode one would only use about half of Frank Herbert’s classic 400+ page 1965 sci-fi novel.
The best news within the new deal for DUNE: PART TWO is that this episode won’t open with day & date streaming on HBO Max — so when it hits theatres 10/20/23, it won’t be competing with itself. That was the real price WB had to pay to bring back Villeneuve, a DUNE producer & co-screenwriter.
DUNE 2’s message to other filmmakers distressed by the hybrid release strategy Wall Street loves is that if you’ve got high-profile credentials and can deliver the goods, you now can demand and get an exclusive theatrical window for your film. And that should boost ticket sales and put smiles on exhibitors‘ faces.