Denis Villenueve recently compared the idea of watching Dune at home to putting a speedboat in the bathtub, but international audiences don’t even have that option. Until HBO Max expands its reach, Warner Bros. titles are theatrical exclusives everywhere outside of the United States, and many territories have gotten the chance to see the sci-fi epic already.
Not only did the acclaimed blockbuster surpass expectations by hauling in almost $37 million from a mere 24 markets, but it’s tracking well ahead of Tenet, Black Widow, Godzilla vs. Kong and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In fact, Dune has even set pandemic-era IMAX opening weekend records in Russia, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, Hong Kong and Singapore, as per Deadline.
That’s hugely encouraging news, and if Dune can perform well on local shores, then that sequel will be a foregone conclusion. The adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel is the sort of lavish, eye-popping and jaw-dropping production that demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible, even if it hits HBO Max and theaters for domestic audiences simultaneously on October 22nd.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings additionally held up well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe effort’s worldwide tally passed $320 million, and it should be able to catch Black Widow‘s $377 million within the next few weeks. Every couple of months we get our hopes up that the cinema experience is finally back in a big way, only to see them dashed shortly afterwards. Fingers crossed that Dune, Shang-Chi and Venom: Let There Be Carnage mark the beginning of a genuine resurgence this time.