‘Dune’ impresses with a solid $40.1 million at the box office

A woman with long, brown hair standing next to a man with short, brown hair
Zendaya as Chani and Timothée Chalamet as Paul in “Dune.”
(Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures)

Warner Bros.’s “Dune” opened in first place at the box office this weekend with an impressive $40.1 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

After the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its opening for nearly a year, “Dune” launched simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on Thursday — in keeping with Warner Bros.’ hybrid release strategy.

Directed by Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve, “Dune” stars Timothée Chalamet as the heir to the powerful Atreides empire, engaged in a political war over the desert planet Arrakis, or Dune. Legendary co-financed, developed and produced the film.

Also among the star-studded cast are Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Oscar Isaac. It was well-received with an A- CinemaScore and an 83% “fresh” score on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.


Heralded as the best sci-fi novel of all time, previous adaptations of Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ have fizzled. Now it’s Denis Villeneuve’s turn.

Notably, the studio blockbuster marks the first collaboration between rising A-listers Chalamet and Zendaya, who have been busy charming the socks off of fans and journalists alike while promoting the film in recent weeks. Riding on the performance of “Dune” is a potential sequel, which Villeneuve and the cast have expressed a desire to make, though it has yet to be greenlighted by Warner Bros.

The long-anticipated tentpole, based on Frank Herbert’s classic novel of the same name, first premiered in September at the Venice Film Festival, where it drew rave reviews.

Another Chalamet film, Searchlight Pictures’ “The French Dispatch,” also debuted this weekend in limited release to $1.3 million across 52 locations for a solid per-screen average of $25,000.

Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Oscar Isaac headline Denis Villeneuve’s seat-rattling adaptation of the Frank Herbert sci-fi classic.

Directed by Oscar nominee Wes Anderson, the quirky dramedy is billed as a love letter to journalists centering on the staff of a fictional French magazine. In addition to Chalamet, the art film also stars frequent Anderson collaborators Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Tony Revolori, Adrien Brody, Frances McDormand, Léa Seydoux and Wally Wolodarsky, as well as newcomers Benicio del Toro, Elisabeth Moss and Jeffrey Wright.

“The French Dispatch,” which premiered in July at the Cannes Film Festival, currently holds a decent 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This upcoming Halloween weekend, get ready for Focus Features’ “Last Night in Soho,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie, and Searchlight’s “Antlers,” starring Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons.

Times staff writer Sonaiya Kelley contributed to this report.