It is still far too early to predict how Dune will perform at the box office. The film’s first trailer, released in September, was mostly well-received by both general audiences and fans of the book. As a filmmaker, Villeneuve’s track record speaks for itself, having received critical acclaim for nearly his entire filmography.
The cast is full of heavy-hitters and superstars, and the special effects look like nothing ever seen before. While the film does have the potential to be the next Lord of the Rings, it faces a steep uphill climb to reach that point. Hopefully, mainstream audiences can look past its inherent strangeness, and we’ll be able to see a Dune franchise flourish in the coming years.
Box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian (via The Observer) predicts that Villeneuve’s adaptation could take in $1 billion worldwide box office. While Dergarabedian acknowledges the pressure that the film is facing (a sequel is mainly dependent on the first film’s box office performance), he argues that the film’s delay might help generate interest and build hype in the long run.
He also states that the film’s delay shows WB’s confidence in the adaptation, as an October 2021 release would ensure more people would see the movie in theaters. Check out his full quote below:
This is a huge brand with a major filmmaker backed by a very filmmaker-centric studio. Moving release dates doesn’t show a lack of confidence in theaters. It’s the opposite. It shows that Warner Bros. has confidence both in the long game and in the property as it would rather wait for theaters to return. This is a movie with the global potential of $1 billion. I can see this becoming that kind of film with worldwide appeal in the vein of James Bond.