For much of 2020, despite all that has happened to the movie business, cinephiles had their eyes on Dune. Director Denis Villeneuve is rebooting Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel for the big screen as a big-budget potential franchise for Warner Bros. Unfortunately, the studio had to delay the highly-anticipated movie nearly a year recently but, according to at least one box office analyst, that was a good move. Assuming the infrastructure is in place to get it there, he believes the studio has a possible $1 billion hit on their hands.
Comscore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian recently weighed in on the matter. Comscore is the industry standard when it comes to box office reporting, so Dergarabedian knows a thing or two in this arena, to say the least. During a recent interview, he revealed that Dune could have the same level of global appeal in the theatrical marketplace as a James Bond movie. Here's what he had to say about it.
"Interest is off the charts. 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."
Dune has a crazy amount of things going for it on paper. It is adapting a truly beloved work of fiction that has a wealth of material to mine for franchise purposes. It has a ridiculously stacked A-list cast that includes Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya and Javier Bardem. Denis Villeneuve, one of the most respected filmmakers working today, is at the helm. It's got giant sandworms. It's seemingly all there. Paul Dergarabedian feels that delaying a movie like this doesn't show a lack of confidence by Warner Bros. It's precisely the opposite.
"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 $1 billion prediction makes sense on paper. This could be the next Lord of the Rings in some ways. But, there are some major caveats. To make that kind of money at the box office the global movie business has to be firing on all cylinders. Right now it's operating more like a car somebody found at that junkyard that happened to have the keys and a little bit of gas in it.
The biggest question mark right now is whether or not theaters will even be around in the U.S. and other major markets come time for this movie, and other delayed blockbusters, to hit theaters. AMC is expected to run out of money soon. Regal recently shut its doors again. It's not looking good. But assuming theaters find a way forward, this movie is well-positioned to kickstart a franchise. Dune is set to hit theaters on October 1, 2021. This news comes to us via Observer.