Part Two Needs More Worthy Box Office Opponents

Over the last few weeks, there’s been plenty of digital ink spilled online about the box office. Movies like Furiosa and The Fall Guy had barely made their initial projections, if they did at all, and it’s caused many to wonder about the state of movies this year. After 2023 being filled with banger after banger amid strikes that pushed several flicks into this year, can the medium survive a weak summer season?

Things have gotten to the point now that director Denis Villeneuve’s admitted he’s looking for things to improve. While accepting an award at the Canadian Screen Awards this past Friday, the Dune: Part Two director said he’s “disappointed to still be number one. […] I hope, sooner or later, that this summer box office will be much better.” The second half of his sci-fi epic released back in March and at time of writing, remains the highest-grossing movie of the year with a $711.8 million take worldwide. Of the big movies that’ve released this year, only Godzilla x Kong: New Empire has come close $567.2 million, and it’s still currently playing in theaters.

Villeneuve continued his speech by stressing the importance of big movies that “fully embrace the power of the theater.” He cited Civil War as another example of a film that “absolutely used [theater] power,” and has gone on to become A24’s second highest-grossing movie ever at $113.9 million. “We need movies that are theatrical experiences…I was lucky that Part 2 did reach the audience, [and] I wish it would happen more often, honestly.”

Despite how it may sound, things aren’t fullly doom and gloom in theaters. Fall Guy, after recently hitting streaming, is continuing to pick up money from theaters. Film analyst Luiz Fernando noted strong word of mouth has helped it build up its stateside haul over the last few weeks to what’s now $75.5 million at time of writing. There’s been similar buildup for Furiosa (now at $114.4 million worldwide) and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ($337.1 million). Most likely, none of these will come within spitting distance of Dune, but it goes to show the box office isn’t written within the first weekend alone.

But, to Villeneuve’s point, he may find a challenger in Deadpool & Wolverine. The MCU team up flick has an R-rating and the return of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine on its side, helped by the fact that it’ll be the only MCU flick to drop in theaters for 2024, which helps it feel more like an event. It was recently revealed pre-ticket sales for the film ranged between $8-9 million, the highest ever for an R-rated movie. Unless something goes really wrong, that might finally give Dune a true rival. It’ll just have to wait until July 26 for that showdown to happen.

[via Yahoo News]

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