Part Two’ strikes theaters Friday amidst ticket office dry spell

Part Two' hits theaters Friday amid box office drought

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Timothee Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two.”

Warner Bros.|Legendary Entertainment

LOS ANGELES– Movie theater operators are hoping that Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment’s “Dune: Part Two,” due out in theaters Friday, will be the much-needed sanctuary amidst a dry spell of hit material.

Since the start of the year, the domestic ticket office has actually tallied simply $8664 million in ticket sales through Sunday, an almost 18% drop from the very same duration in 2023, according to information fromComscore An increase at the start of the year might show vital to a ticket office that’s still having a hard time to recover $10 billion in domestic yearly ticket sales, a mark last seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The arrival of ‘Dune: Part Two’ is coming at a point where the industry is looking for that momentum igniting blockbuster,” stated Paul Dergarabedian, senior media expert at Comscore.

So far in 2024, no movie has actually produced more than $100 million in invoices. While surprise strikes such as Sony’s “Anyone But You” along with Paramount’s “Mean Girls” and “Bob Marley: One Love” have actually assisted fill movie theaters, package workplace had couple of hit holdovers from the vacations and restricted brand-new offerings in the brand-new year.

Last year, the very first quarter was buoyed by $263 million in ticket sales from Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which struck theaters in December of the previous year. Similarly, 2022 had more than $200 million in recurring sales from Sony and Marvel’s 2021 hit “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

“We’re used to these peaks and valleys,” stated Bill Barstow, who runs ACX Cinemas, a theater chain with 6 areas in 5 states. “And certainly, there’s no mystery to the last three years of the pandemic and then strikes and all the stuff that kind of kicks us. But, then along comes something like ‘Dune.'”

Top 10 films titles up until now in 2024

  • “Wonka” (Warner Bros.)– $813 million
  • “Mean Girls” (Paramount)– $721 million
  • “Bob Marley: One Love” (Paramount)– $711 million
  • “Migration” (Universal)– $662 million
  • “The Beekeeper” (Amazon MGM)– $631 million
  • “Anyone But You” (Sony)– $621 million
  • “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (Warner Bros.)– $476 million
  • “Argylle” (Universal)– $416 million
  • “Madame Web” (Sony)– $353 million
  • “Night Swim” (Universal)– $318 million

Source: Comscore

“It’s been a long slog of a winter at the box office, unsurprisingly so after numerous strike-induced delays crushed an already underwhelming studio slate in recent months,” stated Shawn Robbins, primary expert at Box “‘Dune: Part Two’ represents the turn of the tide.”

While WarnerBros is forecasting a conservative $65 million launching for the much awaited sci-fi follow up, ticket office experts anticipate a haul in between $70 million and $80 million. Especially, as spectators are most likely to gravitate towards premium big format screenings, which are more expensive than routine tickets.

“We’ve had sold out ‘See It First’ showings in all of our IMAX locations and guest response is already extremely positive,” stated Jeff Whipple, vice president of marketing, marketing and public relations at Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres, which runs 15 areas, predominately in Utah.

“Utah movie fans know that ‘Dune: Part Two’ is a big movie that needs to be experienced on the biggest screen possible,” he kept in mind, including that Megaplex areas are seeing strong sophisticated ticket sales for premium auditoriums like IMAX, Dolby Atmos and D-Box movement screens.

The draw of these greater priced tickets is leading some exhibitors to believe the movie might outshine forecasts.

“I think Warner Bros. has been conservative,” stated Tim Handren, CEO at Santikos Entertainment, a local movie theater chain with 27 theaters in 8 states. “Warner Bros. has done an absolute fantastic job marketing this movie.”

“They are geniuses in marketing,” ACX Cinemas’ Barstow echoed. “They just know how to build awareness.”

The movie’s cast has actually been greatly promoting the movie for weeks, taking part in junkets, video interviews and appearing on late night programs. Even the stars’ best clothing have actually been making headings, driving more awareness of the movie’s release.

Timoth ée Chalamet and Zendaya participate in the World Premiere of “Dune: Part Two” in Leicester Square in London, England, onFeb 15, 2024.

Gareth Cattermole|Getty Images Entertainment|Getty Images

Alongside market veterans like Christopher Walken, Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Dave Bautista, “Dune: Part Two” includes 4 of the greatest young stars in Hollywood– Zendaya, Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh and Austin Butler.

Early ticket sales for the weekend lead Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” which opened at $824 million, however listed below “Jurassic World Dominion,” which debuted at around $145 million, according to information from Fandango.

Cinema operators, while concentrated on the movie’s opening weekend haul, are, possibly, more thinking about the durability of “Dune: Part Two” at package workplace.

While there are a variety of brand-new releases in March, which will assist pad the total domestic ticket office haul, “April is not nearly as strong,” Handren mentioned.

Highly prepared for movie openings of 2024


  • “Dune: Part Two” (March 1)
  • “Imaginary” (March 8)
  • “Kung Fu Panda 4” (March 8)
  • “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” (March 29)


  • “The First Omen” (April 5)
  • “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (April 12)


  • “The Fall Guy” (May 3)
  • “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” (May 10)
  • “Imaginary Friends” (May 17)
  • “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” (May 24)
  • “The Garfield Movie” (May 24)

Titles like “Dune: Part Two”– which have a genuine chance at staying in theaters with restricted drops in ticket sales week after week– can assist keep package workplace afloat till the summertime film season starts in early May.

The movie likewise provides exhibitors an opportunity to tease upcoming films to audiences with those all-too-familiar sneak peeks before the movie begins.

” I believe ‘Dune’ opens the whole world for us for summertime,” Barstow stated.

Disclosure: Comcast is the moms and dad business of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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