DUNE easily won the weekend by taking in $40.1M from its opening. It’s the fourth title this month to reach that magic number, as this year’s October continues its assault on results from October 2019. The overall North American box office this weekend was estimated at $95M, 86% of the same weekend in 2019. Even with the overall box office doing quite well, DUNE’s debut only hit the lower end of its predicted range, which had stood at $40M – $50M. These results will prompt many to second guess Warner Bros. for holding to its stated course of releasing all its 2021 features both in theatres and on HBO Max simultaneously. By contrast, other studios have seen better results over the past two months with high-profile releases that premiered in theatres only, including NO TIME TO DIE (MGM/UA Releasing), VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE (Sony/Marvel) and SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (Disney/Marvel).
HALLOWEEN KILLS finished second with $14.5M, suffering a massive 71% decline in its second week. NO TIME TO DIE finished third, with $11.9M in its third week in theatres. This week’s other wide release title RON’S GONE WRONG failed to find its audience, generating only $7.3M and finishing fifth. Next weekend, the current streak of four $40M+ openings will end, when LAST NIGHT IN SOHO and ANTLERS will each struggle to achieve $20M. After the dip next weekend, this is huge potential in the 11/5 opening of ETERNALS, with advanced ticket sales at this point outpacing those seen from the last Marvel release, SHANG-CHI. We are predicting a $100M opening weekend and $300M total run for ETERNALS, which would make it the number one title released since the onset of the pandemic.