Dune Director Denis Villeneuve Makes Surprising Admission About Part Two's Box Office Performance

The Canadian filmmaker has something to say about the current state of the cinema industry
Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve
Mathew Tsang via Getty Images

Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has admitted he thinks his recent follow-up to Dune’s performance at the box office is a damning indictment of the current film industry.

Not because he thinks it should have done better – it is, after all, the biggest commercial success of 2024. Rather, Denis is a little disheartened to not have seen any other films replicate (or, indeed, succeed) Dune: Part Two in the first half of 2024.

“I’m disappointed to still be number one,” he said at the Canadian Screen Awards, where he was honoured with the Academy Icon Award (via Deadline).

“I hope soon that there will be other successes at the box office. I hope, sooner or later, that this summer box office will be much better.”

The Canadian director added: “I think we need movies that are theatrical experiences, that will fully embrace the power of the theatre.

“And I’m not just talking about Dune 2. Of course I’m talking about many movies. A movie like Civil War, for instance, is a strong example of a movie that absolutely used the power of the theatre. I was lucky that Part 2 did reach the audience, I wish it would happen more often, honestly.”

Zendaya and Timothée in the first Dune film
Zendaya and Timothée in the first Dune film
Warner Bros/Moviestore/Shutterstock

Dune: Part Two was finally released in March, after having its release date pushed back by months as a result of the 2023 Hollywood strikes.

So far, it’s grossed more than any other film this year, making $711 million (around £558 million) at the box office. Its nearest competition, the Godzilla x Kong film The New Empire made $567 million (around £445 million).

Alongside returning stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, the Dune sequel introduced new characters portrayed by Florence Pugh, Austin Butler and Léa Seydoux.

Denis has already expressed interest in making a third film, based on the novel Dune Messiah, which he would want to make his final instalment in the saga.


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