Dune tops the box office for a second weekend
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune took the No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office for the second consecutive weekend, selling another $15.5 million, upping the film’s 10-day worldwide sales total to a decent $296 million ($69 million domestically). Villeneuve has hit the Nolan level, where he gets big budgets and big stars and puts out slightly complicated blockbusters that do great in foreign markets.
As you’ve likely already heard, it’s been announced that there will be a Dune 2. So I guess this is Villeneuve’s franchise, huh? His Star Wars, I guess. I still think Prisoners is his best movie.
Also at the Box Office
David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills took the No. 2 spot at the box for the second consecutive weekend, selling another $8.5 million, upping the flick’s 17-day domestic sales total to $85 million. That’s about a third of what the movie would probably be selling had COVID-19 never happened. So far, we have Denis Villeneuve and David Gordon Green, two very respectable former Art House auteurs, directing franchise pieces that sell big.
Next up, at No. 3, we have another Art House guy, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and his new film, Bond flick No Time to Die, which sold $7.8 million over its fourth weekend of release. So far this, the final in a long run on Daniel Craig’s Bond flicks, has sold $133 million in the U.S. and $605 million worldwide. Double those numbers and the film would hit original expectations. Still, those are some pretty great numbers for Bond and Craig and Fukunaga.
My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission took the No. 4 spot at the domestic box office with $6.4 million in sales over its first weekend while playing on just 1,500 screens. This one has already made over $35 million worldwide, and is likely going to make a whole lot more.
Rounding out last weekend’s Top 5 was Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which sold about $5.8 million. So far Venom has sold $190 million in the U.S. and a solid $396 million worldwide. So if these are realistic numbers we can expect for big films going forward, maybe we spend less making them and charge a little more for tickets and, hey, who knows, maybe the theater industry will live another day.
Also of note: Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch expanded to 700 screens, selling a disappointing $2.7 million. Ouch. This is one I was really hoping would do well.
Edgar Wright’s much anticipated new flick, Last Night in Soho, also had a rough release, selling just $4.1 million despite getting a wide release.
New This Week
Welll, we’re at the time of year when all the best movies start coming out. In addition to films from Denis Villeneuve, David Gordon Green, Edgar Wright, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Andy Serkis, and Wes Anderson all currently at the theaters, this weekend will see the release of Chloe Zhao’s big studio jump with Marvel flick Eternals.
This is not a movie that interests me and, from the look of the reviews so far, it’s not a flick that critics are liking very much. I loved Zhao’s last film, Nomadland, and think she’s going to have a long career that results in a lot of interesting work. But Eternals doesn’t seem like the kind of work Zhao should be spending her time on.
Eternals will sell some tickets. But it has a whole lot of competition, including all the flicks mentioned aboveplus Antlers, Shang-Chi, The Last Duel, Lamb, and The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Many of these films will likely populate year-end lists in a couple of months. It is, needless to say, a very good time to go to the movies.
My fandom for Wes Anderson has been well documented in this column over the last 13 or so years. Wes is a big deal for me, and each new movie he puts out I go see in the theater. And I’m excited every time.
I just saw Anderson’s latest, The French Dispatch, at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Brooklyn, on a huge screen in a very loud room. It’s a flashy send-up of The New Yorker, featuring a huge ensemble cast used to tell a collection of short stories. It’s quirky and colorful and it moves fast and, at times, feels incoherent.
Anderson references his Royal Tenenbaums opening sequence in the opening of the film before later referencing The Life Aquatic. With Tenenbaums, Anderson designed his world at the scale of a house; in Aquatic Anderson’s world lived inside a boat; in The Darjeeling Limited we join Anderson and his troupe in an Anderson-designed train; in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson has designed the grand interior of a massive hotel; and finally, in Dispatch, Anderson has designed an entire town.
I loved the flick, not as much as my favorite Anderson movies, but much more than most of the films being released in theaters right now.