‘Dune: Part Two’ spices up the box office with an $81.5M weekend

The second ‘Dune’ film finally gives 2024 a major opening weekend. How soon until WB gives ‘Dune Messiah’ the green light?

‘Dune: Part Two’ spices up the box office with an $81.5M weekend
Timothée Chalamet in Dune: Part Two. / Warner Bros.

Hello! Welcome to The Box Office Report for the weekend of March 1-3, 2024.

1. Dune: Part Two

Weekend gross: $81.5M
Total domestic gross: $81.5M
Last weekend: New release
Percent drop: NA

Spice is power, and thanks to that power, we finally have our first major box office champion of 2024. Dune: Part Two debuted with an estimated $81.5 million, earning more money in a single weekend that all but two films have grossed altogether this year. (Wonka, Timothée Chalamet’s other big hit, has grossed $83.6 million during 2024 and Bob Marley: One Love has grossed $82.8 million.)

Dune: Part Two’s opening weekend easily blew away Dune’s 2021 debut. The first installment of Denis Villeneuve’s saga grossed $41 million its first weekend on the way to a $110 million domestic box office haul. Those numbers were skewed by theaters still coming out of Covid and Warner Bros. releasing the first Dune on HBO Max the same day it hit theaters.

The second Dune movie had its own problem, getting delayed from last November to avoid a release without its stars while the actors were on strike. WB’s decision to push Dune: Part Two into March 2024 paid off, as Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler and Florence Pugh have dominated the red carpet and the talk show circuit these past few weeks.

Dune: Part Two was such a huge box office draw, that during my second time seeing the movie, there was a family who brought their two little girls (I’m talking maybe 7 at the oldest) and infant with them for the screening. Hey, kids love violent movies that are heavily subtitled, run for almost three hours and start at 7:30 p.m., right?

IMAX screenings fueled a large part of Dune: Part Two’s $81.5 million opening weekend, with IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond saying, “The only reason it wasn’t higher is we ran out of seats.”

Let’s greenlight Dune Messiah now, Warner Bros.

Popculturology is a free newsletter fueled by my love of pop culture. If you’re already a subscriber, please consider becoming a supporter by upgrading your account.

You can also follow me on Threads, Bluesky and Instagram.

2. Bob Marley: One Love

Weekend gross: $7.4M
Total domestic gross: $82.8M
Last weekend: 1st
Percent drop: 45

When it comes to movies released in 2024, Bob Marley: One Love is still the year’s top grosser. For now. And depending on how the actual numbers come in on Monday, Dune: Part Two could tick past it.

But things are still going well for the Bob Marley biopic. The film is less than $20 million away from cracking the $100 million mark in North America.