It looks like Denis Villeneuve‘s upcoming Dune film is off to a great start, as it managed to nab $36.8M internationally in 24 markets. Currently, it is ahead of Black Widow (which didn’t have a China release) and even Villeneuve‘s last film, Blade Runner 2049. It’ll have some smaller releases ahead of its domestic debut in late October which may work in the film’s favor of having an HBO Max release in the States. Perhaps it’s part of Warner Bros.’s strategy to avoid the piracy aspect that’s been hurting these day-and-date releases.
Shang-Chi has been doing quite well internationally, as it now stands at around $320M worldwide. It’s passed A Quiet Place Part II and Sonic the Hedgehog putting it at the higher end of this year’s earners. Its toughest competition remains the Chinese releases of Godzilla vs. Kong and F9, who managed to add an extra $200M in the market respectively. Yet, current predictions still put it at a strong $414M on par with Ant-Man. It may even pass Black Widow domestically at this rate. No small feat for a theatre-only release during a pandemic.
As Forbes’ Scott Mendelsohn points out, the benchmark for potential sequels lies with a $350M box office. Tenet‘s early release set the current industry standard as it still tries to recover from the pandemic, which still has no end in sight. With this trajectory, it seems safe to assume that Dune will get a sequel, as it only adapts the first half of the original novel. Shang-Chi also seems like a safe bet to explore a new legend now that went beyond everyone’s expectations. We’ll see how the rest of the year plays out as more films hit the market.