Why Has ‘Dune’ Been Released So Far In Advance In Spain?
We are in luck: Dune was released yesterday in Spanish cinemas, two days after it did in France and in parallel with a landing throughout Europe, extended to locations such as Germany, Italy and, in total, more than 24 markets on the continent.
That Denis Villeneuve’s new film has reached these theaters is not surprising given the proximity in time with its screening at the Venice Film Festival, but things change if we compare it with its journey outside of European cinemas. In the US, country of origin, there is still more than a month to premiere: it will arrive on October 22 jointly in Canada and shortly after expanding a few markets in Asia, highlighting Japan and South Korea. The question is inevitable: why?
The sequel to ‘Dune’ is in danger, but Denis Villeneuve “feels optimistic”
Why is Dune opening so late in the US? Why in Europe have we had this privilege? Warner Bros. has not issued an official statement on the matter, but it may be understandable based on the international context, which IndieWire has studied in some depth.
Dune is a very complicated premiere: it is not only that it is based on a novel considered cold and demanding, and that in its modulation it is inevitable to remember Blade Runner 2049 directed by Villeneuve himself, encountering a resounding failure at the box office: there are other elements as problematic as the character of the first part (only contemplated in its entirety once the film is seen, and being capable of affecting word of mouth) or, above all, the mixture of pandemic with hybrid model.
Dune has cost about $ 165 million excluding marketing, and it relies on box office figures for Warner to give the sequel the green light. If in itself this would be enough to worry anyone, it is the case that the film is included in Warner’s plan to be released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max: the same plan that Villeneuve, as soon as he learned of its existence, stated that he could “kill Dune ” and eliminate his franchiseable possibilities.
As much for viewers who will see it at home instead of in theaters, and for piracy: the hybrid release will mean that there will be good quality copies of Dune circulating on the Internet in a matter of hours.
What has been the solution for distributors throughout the world? Give preponderance to Europe, before it becomes available in streaming , and guarantee a good collection for the final launch in the domestic market. It must be said that things do not look bad: on its first day in France the figures were most commendable, and the film is expected to arrive at the end of the weekend with 25 million dollars under its belt. If the public’s enthusiasm continues over the next several weeks, by the time October 22 rolls around , Dune could be considered a box office hit.
To the concern about streaming must be added the particularities of the release schedule: if Dune were released earlier, for example at the beginning of October, it would have to face No Time to Die at the box office , which would arrive on day 1 and dispute firmly dominating the box office.
DuneIt is too delicate a premiere to face this competition, so it has ended up relegated at the end of that month pending that by then Warner has already been able to secure a premiere in China. Science fiction tends to perform very well in this coveted market, but Hollywood is currently facing an increase in autarkic policies that make importing US releases even more difficult.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings didn’t make it, and Dune may not do it either. Beyond this confluence of factors, let’s hope the play pays off and Warner agrees to produce Dune. Part II.