Dune created a storm when it was released back in 2021. The movie was one of the highest-grossing flicks under Warner Bros.’ one-year experimental release plan that saw all of its movies debuts both in theatres and on HBO Max simultaneously. The first film only took in $108.3 million domestic but fared much better overseas, earning $401.8 million worldwide. Dune was also a critical hit, earning 10 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, winning six Oscars, though all in technical categories like Best Visual Effects.
However, just a week after Dune hit the theatres, Warner Bros. greenlit Part 2. The sequel was all set to release in mid-October 2023, however, Warner Bros. has staked a claim to Thanksgiving 2023 with Dune: Part 2. The studio shifted the highly-anticipated sequel from October 20, 2023, which is only occupied by a 20th Century Studios placeholder project, to November 17, 2023, according to Deadline. The move puts the second half of this massive adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal novel against three high-profile projects, the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The movie will now go up against Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes, Universal Pictures’ Trolls 3 and Paramount’s Imaginary Friends starring John Krasinski and Ryan Reynolds. The mid-November release date was typically one Warner Bros. had reserved for their Fantastic Beasts franchise. The most recent film, The Secrets of Dumbledore, was originally slated for release on November 12, 2021, though the studio pushed it several months to April 2022, after replacing Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen.
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Production will get underway this fall in Budapest on Dune: Part 2, with a number of the Dune stars returning. Timothee Chalamet (Paul Atreides), Zendaya (Chani), Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Rebecca), Josh Brolin (Gurney Halleck), Javier Bardem (Stilgar) and Stellan Skarsgard (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen) are all expected to reprise their roles. A number of new characters have also been cast, including Florence Pugh’s Princess Irulan, Christopher Walken as Irulan’s father, Emperor Shaddam IV, Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha and Lea Seydoux as Lady Margot.
In other release date news, Warner Bros. also announced that a new Godzilla-Kong sequel will be released on March 15, 2024. Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard will return to the helm for this currently-untitled project. Godzilla vs. Kong also opened under Warner Bros.’ experimental day-and-date theatrical/HBO Max model, earning $100.9 million domestic and $470 million worldwide.