Wed. 27 Oct 2021, 10:15am ETBenzinga
In: News, Media

AT&T’s (NYSE:T) Warner Bros. division and Legendary have announced a release date for the sequel to “Dune” and confirmed the new film will be made available as a theatrical-exclusive presentation.

What Happened: The companies have penciled in Oct. 20, 2023, for the U.S. premiere of “Dune: Part Two.” Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has repeatedly stated his adaptation of the classic 1965 science-fiction novel by Frank Herbert would be a two-part production, but Warner Bros. and Legendary had been elusive in committing to a specific release date.

“I just received news from Legendary that we are officially moving forward with Dune: Part Two,” the filmmaker said in an interview with Deadline. “It was a dream of mine to adapt Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune,’ and I have the fans, the cast, and crew, Legendary and Warner Bros. to thank for supporting this dream. This is only the beginning.”

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Why It Happened: The emphasis for “Dune: Part Two” as a theatrical-exclusive release follows Villeneuve’s harshly vocal complaints that the newly-released “Dune” was opening in the U.S. in both theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service. The impact of this strategy may have contributed to the film's U.S. premiere “Dune” recording a weekend box office performance that was conspicuously lower than other major autumn releases; HBO Max did not release viewership numbers for its “Dune” presentation.

However, Deadline reported “Dune” has already racked up $12 million in advance tickets sales for the coming weekend, which does not have any major new films opening.

Photo: Jason Momoa in “Dune,” courtesy of Warner Bros.