Warner Bros. Moves ‘Dune: Part Two’ Up to Early March

The Timothée Chalamet/Zendaya sci-fi fantasy was initially moved due to strikes from Nov. 3 of this year

"Dune: Part Two" (Warner Bros./Legendary)

Warner Bros. Discovery will open Legendary’s “Dune: Part Two” not on March 15, 2024, but on March 1, 2024. That takes the place of Universal’s “The Fall Guy,” as the Ryan Gosling/Emily Blunt action comedy recently moved to May 3, thus making it the unofficial summer kick-off film for 2024. Now the Timothée Chalamet/Zendaya sci-fi fantasy, which was initially set to debut Nov. 3 of this year, is the unofficial Spring season kick-off flick instead.

Amid a slew of major movies getting delayed due to variables related to the SAG-AFTRA strike, at least one major tentpole is moving up just a little bit. This is a recent trend of major movies getting pushed back either later into 2024 or into the 2025 release slate. Disney delayed a slew of major films, sending “Deadpool 3” and “Mufasa: The Lion King” later next year while pushing Pixar’s “Elio” and “Snow White” into 2025.

The change-up gives WBD some breathing room between “Dune Part Two” and both “Mickey 17” on March 29 and Legendary’s “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” on April 12, 2024. The new date means that “Dune Part Two” will get 2-3 weeks in Imax with more potentially in the offering depending on the marketplace. This also leaves a prime mid-March release date open for the taking. The new date for “Dune Part Two,” again directed by Denis Villeneuve, is now slated to open in the same early-March slot that brought fortune and glory to the likes of “Alice in Wonderland” in 2010, “The Lorax” in 2012, “Zootopia” in 2016, “Logan” in 2017 and “The Batman” in 2022.

The first “Dune” earned rave reviews and won six Academy Awards while grossing $110 million domestically and $402 million worldwide. Sans COVID-related variables, and whatever lost viewership occurred due to concurrent HBO Max availability in North America, that might have been a disappointing figure for a $165 million sci-fi epic. However, the film was seen as a commercial success, over the long term, with the hope that the sequel would build on that gross due to the first film’s relative popularity and a return to more conventional theatrical windows.

Whether the film would have earned more in non-COVID and non-Project Popcorn times is an open question, as the likes of “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” ($197 million) and “Godzilla vs. Kong” ($470 million) earned on par with or better than what might have been expected in conventional circumstances. With hopes running high for an early-year smash, next March will give the chance for “Dune” to show what it can do with no limitations and no caveats.


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