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    ‘Dune’ Box Office Begins Thursday With $5.1 Million In Previews –

    Legendary and Warner Bros’ sci-fi epic Dune excavated $5.1 million from 6 p.m. showtimes at 3,200 theaters Thursday. The Denis Villeneuve-directed adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel was also made available on HBO Max streaming service as early as 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET.

    In China, Legendary East is reporting a $6.5M opening day for Dune at 10,500 cinemas, a total of 28,274 screens. The pic is ranking as the No. 2 title in the market with a 34.3% share of the box office for the day.

    That figure bests the pre-pandemic take of Villeneuve’s previous sci-fi spectacle, 2017’s Blade Runner 2049, which saw $3.5M from 7 p.m. showtimes on its way to a $12.5M Friday and $32.8M opening — the director’s best domestic start.

    Tracking estimates for Dune are in the $30M-$35M range. Advance ticket sales indicate a number much higher, but we’ll need today and into Saturday to see how front-loaded business is as these day-and-date films have a tendency to bring the fans out first, before the general audience decides its not going to the cinema.

    Dune‘s Thursday figure also beats the $4.1M made by Warner Bros/HBO Max’s The Suicide Squad, which began previews at 7 p.m. and turned in a $12.1M Friday, and $26.2M opening weekend; the second-best for an R-rated movie during the pandemic. Dune‘s also bested Halloween Kills, which did $4.85M. That R-rated movie was available day-and-date on the subscriber-paid tier of Peacock, but that didn’t seem to dilute the box office as it posted a $22.8M Friday, $49.4M opening weekend. It’s a different case with Dune and HBO Max since the service has a bigger penetration than Peacock.

    The movie, which has 73 minutes shot in Imax cameras, is overperforming in the large format exhibitor’s auditoriums, driving 30% of last night’s box office. Note, in Canada, Dune is on a pure theatrical window since the country doesn’t have HBO Max yet.

    Four hundred two Imax screens delivered $1.5M yesterday. The figure marks a new wide-release indexing record for Imax on a Thursday night in North America, topping Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk ($1.59M/28.9% of a total $5.5m in July 2017).

    Abroad, 17 Imax screens in South Korea delivered 21% of opening day grosses on Wednesday, compared with 5-6% for Shang-Chi and No Time to Die. 

    In the UK, 50 Imax screens delivered 21% of the pic’s opening day on Thursday, compared to 8% on No Time to Die and 9% for Shang-Chi.

    Last weekend, 37 IMAX screens in Japan yielded 37% of the opening weekend total, compared with 16% for Bond 25.

    Early word in China today, Friday, is that Imax screens rep 21% of the opening day total for Dune.

    Disney/20th Century Studios’ Ron’s Gone Wrong grossed an estimated $240K last night off previews that started at 6PM. Pic opens at 3,560 theatres, currently holding a strong 80% Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score. The animated movie is looking at $8M-$10M.

     

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