Box Office: ‘Dune’ Tops Timid Halloween Weekend With $15.5 Million

With $15.5 million in its second weekend, director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune held on to the top spot at a muted box office that was, as expected, spooked by Halloween. This puts somewhat of a dampener on an otherwise promising month. Dune fell 62% after debuting with $40.1 million in its first weekend.

The science-fiction epic, based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, was also released day-and-date on the HBO Max streaming service as a part of Warner Bros’ controversial 2021 release strategy, which Villeneuve has vocally criticized. After a string of box office disappointments such as The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and Mortal Kombat — all of which plunged around 70% in their sophomore weekends — Dune became a rare win for the studio, which has been under fire for disrupting both the traditional and streaming marketplace. WB and Legendary capitalized on the buzz when they confirmed the long-speculated sequel for an October 2023 release over the week. Worldwide, the $165 million-budgeted film is nearing $300 million.

If nothing else, Dune’s strong debut, and subsequently solid hold, inspire confidence in The Matrix Resurrections, the final release on WB’s 2021 calendar before the studio drops the day-and-date model next year.

Thomasin McKenzie in Last Night in Soho

Image via Focus Features

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But overall, there was little to celebrate at the box office as the two big new releases both tanked in their opening weekends. Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie, will fight it out for the number six spot with Scott Cooper’s Antlers, featuring Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons. Last Night in Soho is playing in around 200 more screens than Antlers — 3,016 as compared to 2,800 — but both films made around $4.2 million, which isn’t a great number for horror pictures on the Halloween weekend.

The disappointing debuts of these two films left the door open for director David Gordon Green’s holdover Halloween Kills to claim the number two spot, with $8.5 million. This takes the film’s domestic total to over $85 million, after a record-setting horror debut of $50 million in its first weekend. The 2018 Halloween reboot, conceptualized by Green and co-writer Danny McBride, was a hit, with over $250 million worldwide. Universal seems undeterred by the sequel’s inferior performance; a third installment — Halloween Ends — has already been greenlit.

Daniel Craig’s fifth and final film as the iconic British spy James Bond — No Time to Die — came in at the number three spot, with $7.8 million from around 3,500 screens. This takes the Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed film’s domestic total to $133 million. Worldwide, the picture has crossed the $500 million mark, although it stills trails each of Craig’s other Bond movies.

With $6.5 million from 1,600 screens, My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission took the number four spot, a continuation of a recent trend of anime films performing strongly at the box office. World Heroes’ Mission is the third film in the series, following My Hero Academia: Two Heroes and My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising.

The number five spot went to Sony’s Marvel antihero sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which pulled in another $5.7 million to take its domestic total to nearly $200 million. So far this year, only one film — Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — has crossed this milestone. While Venom 2 trails the original 2018 film worldwide, it’s still a win for Sony, which is banking heavily on its own universe of Marvel movies.

Next weekend sees the release of the hotly-anticipated but divisively-reviewed new superhero film, Eternals, directed by Chloé Zhao.

KEEP READING: Why Is ‘Dune’ a Sci-Fi Film With No Computers? Let’s Explain

Timothee Chalamet in Dune
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