Oppenheimer’s Success Proves Dune: Part Two Could Be A True Box Office Messiah

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Written By Sedoso Feb

We’ve started seeing a change in audience tastes as of late. Every live-action superhero movie flopped theatrically last year, save for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” Yet, an R-rated biopic about the guy who made the A-bomb made nearly $1 billion. Am I saying that “Oppenheimer” is exactly like “Dune: Part Two” as a film? Absolutely not. We’re talking about a grounded biopic versus a big sci-fi sequel as part of a franchise that people have already bought into. But the similarities here are worth pointing out. Perhaps most interesting of all? “Oppenheimer” opened to $82 million last year, right at the top end of expectations for Villeneuve’s $190 million sequel. That bodes well.

Further working in this movie’s favor, early critical praise has been over the moon, with some calling it one of the greatest sequels ever made. Buzz like that can help move the needle. Plus, the recent re-release of the first “Dune” ended up grossing more than $30 million globally. That suggests a very strong appetite for the follow-up. It’s also going to be the first legitimate blockbuster to open in months, and is going to be the first movie to make more than $50 million on opening weekend since “Five Nights at Freddy’s” ($80 million) back in October of last year. That’s surely music to the industry’s ears right now.

Not for nothing, but the sequel’s cast is even more impressive than the 2021 film’s, particularly its younger stars. Chalamet is coming off of “Wonka,” which has made more than $600 million worldwide (and counting). Austin Butler is coming off of “Elvis,” which was a massive hit that netted him an Oscar nod, and Zendaya has only become an even bigger A-lister since the first film came out (in no small part thanks to “Spider-Man: No Way Home”).

Beloved filmmaker, a stacked cast, great reviews, a lack of competition, and changing audience tastes in this movie’s favor: This could be a perfect storm for a breakout hit. We spoke more about this on today’s episode of the /Film Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:

“Dune: Part Two” hits theaters on March 1, 2024.

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