Dune: Part Two Crossed Yet Another Major Box Office Milestone

Understandably so, the bulk of the box office talk generated from this past weekend's worth of moviegoing has been centered on the performance of "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire." The kaiju flick obliterated expectations with an $80 million opening, making it one of the biggest of the year. But the biggest domestic opening of 2024 still belongs to "Dune: Part Two," which debuted at $82.5 million back in March. And, while Godzilla and Kong were busy topping the charts, director Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic passed a pretty significant milestone.

"Dune: Part Two" held remarkably well over the weekend, taking in another $11.3 million domestically. That was good enough to hold onto the number three spot, with the film dropping just 36% in its fifth frame. Warner Bros. and Legendary production has now amassed $252.6 million domestically to go with $373.7 million internationally for a grand total of $626.3 million. Given that the first "Dune" made just over $400 million in its original run, that's mighty impressive. Not to mention that the IMAX re-release of "Dune" brought in more than $30 million earlier this year, bringing that film's running total to $431 million.

All told, "Dune" is now a $1 billion franchise, with both films pulling in $1.05 billion combined. If we count David Lynch's ill-fated adaptation of Frank Herbert's beloved sci-fi novel, that would add $30.9 million to the pile. WB, Legendary, and Villeneuve have managed to turn this into a well-respected franchise capable of winning awards while also amassing a huge global audience. That's truly impressive. In the process, Timothee Chalamet has become a bonafide, no doubt about it A-list movie star.

Timothee Chalamet's dual $600 million hits

Chalamet, who plays Paul Atreides in both films, has asserted himself as one of very few stars under the age of 30 who has become a legitimate box office draw. Case in point, "Wonka" also made more than $600 million worldwide after hitting theaters in December, with its total currently sitting at $631 million. So both of Chalamet's most recent movies delivered grosses that few movies have in the pandemic era. Sure, he's benefiting a lot from franchise material, but the actor is owed his share of credit here. It's no surprise that Warner Bros. recently signed Chalamet to a first-look deal.

For what it's worth, Villeneuve is also owed credit for casting lots of young, fresh faces to go with the tried-and-true cast members. Zendaya, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler were also along for the ride, and their star power has grown as well. It is perhaps not a stretch to say that this movie's success is helping shape the next generation of A-listers in Hollywood.

The big, lingering question is when — not if — Warner Bros. and/or Legendary announce "Dune Messiah." Villeneuve has been clear about his desire to adapt Herbert's second novel in the series and round out his cinematic trilogy. That said, there is a sizable time jump in the books, so the filmmaker is probably going to take a break to make something else before diving back into the sands of Arrakis. He's earned that break.

"Dune: Part Two" is in theaters now.