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'Dune: Part Two' passes 'Oppenheimer' opening weekend at domestic box office with US$82.5 million

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“Dune: Part Two” raked in US$82.5 million at the domestic box office on during its opening weekend, narrowly surpassing the opening weekend of the 2023 blockbuster film “Oppenheimer.”

The two films came from different studios — “Dune: Part Two” is a Warner Bros. Pictures movie and shares the same parent company as CNN, while Universal Pictures distributed ‘Oppenheimer.’

In updated box office receipts released Monday, “Dune: Part Two,” directed by Denis Villeneuve, surpassed the milestone set last summer by the historical epic that was catapulted to success in theaters amid the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon. Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, brought in US$82.4 million in its opening weekend.

“Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan inhabit that rarefied air of marquee filmmakers and both ‘Dune: Part Two’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ inspired audiences to head out to the multiplex on their opening weekends to the tune of over US$80M in domestic receipts,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said.

The film is a much-anticipated sequel to one of the most popular science fiction adaptions in recent years, and helped revive a sleepy box office. Similarly, “Oppenheimer” was one half of the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon last summer, which took social media and the movie theater industry by storm.

“This is just what the box office needed and much higher than any of us could predict,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. Pictures, which distributed the movie. “That’s especially true given that it’s a sci-fi movie, which is a genre that is a hard nut to crack. And we grossed US$178.5 million worldwide, which is quite a standup.”

The sequel doubled the domestic opening of the first “Dune” installment, which opened with US$41 million when it was simultaneously released in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max in October 2021. The film is also Villeneuve’s highest grossing movie.

CNN’s Eva Rothenberg contributed to this report Top Stories

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