Warner Bros. pushes ‘Dune Part 2’ to early March

Warner Bros. Discovery Legendary’s “Dune: Part Two” will open on March 1, 2024, not March 15, 2024. It will replace Universal’s “The Fall Guy,” as the Ryan Gosling/Emily Blunt action comedy recently moved up. as of May 3, thus becoming the unofficial summer kick-off film for 2024. Now the Timothée Chalamet/Zendaya sci-fi fantasy, which was initially scheduled to be released on November 3 this year, is the unofficial spring season kick-off flick instead.

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

The change gives WBD some respite between “Dune Part Two” on March 29 and both “Mickey 17” and Legendary’s “Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire” on April 12, 2024. The new date means “Dune Part Two” will get 2-3 weeks in IMAX with more potential in the offering depending on the market. This also leaves the release date open to mid-March. The new date for “Dune Part Two”, directed by Denis Villeneuve, is now scheduled to open in early March in the same slot that brought fortune and glory to films like “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Lorax” in 2010. “Zootopia” in 2012, “Zootopia” in 2016, “Logan” in 2017 and “The Batman” in 2022.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

The first “Dune” earned much praise and won six Academy Awards, while grossing $110 million domestically and $402 million worldwide. Without COVID-related changes, and whatever drop in viewership was caused by the concurrent availability of HBO Max in North America, that could have been a disappointing figure for the $165 million sci-fi epic. However, the film was long viewed as a commercial success, with the expectation that a sequel would build on those earnings due to the relative popularity of the first film and the return of more traditional theatrical windows.

Whether the film would have made more in non-COVID and non-Project Popcorn times is an open question, as have films like “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” ($197 million) and “Godzilla Vs. Kong” ($470 million) earnings were at or better than expected under traditional circumstances. With hopes of a stellar performance early in the year, next March will give “Dune” a chance to show what it can do with no limits and no warning.

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in 'Dune Part Two'

(Tags to translate)Denis Villeneuve(T)Dune Part II(T)Timothée Chalamet(T)Warner Bros. Discovery(T)Zendaya

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