Dune 2 explodes the Quebec box office

The sequel to the adventures of Paul Atreides exploded the Quebec box office last weekend with receipts of more than 1.86 million, according to data compiled by Cineac.

The film by Denis Villeneuve, which is presented on 216 screens in Quebec, also dominates the North American box office (Canada and United States) with revenues of 81.5 million in its first weekend in theaters, according to the Exhibitor Relations firm – compared to 41 million for the first part.

If we add international markets, the science fiction film, adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel, has already accumulated revenues of 178.5 million.

In Quebec, these results have of course delighted theater owners, who finally have the hope of returning to the good days before the pandemic. “We are all really happy,” says Éric Bouchard, president of the Quebec Cinema Theater Corporation. We had a good year in 2023, even if the release of Dune 2 was pushed back from November to March due to the strike [des scénaristes et des acteurs]. We are in the process of restoring a certain order. »

Since its theatrical release last Wednesday, Denis Villeneuve’s new opus has garnered praise and positive reviews all over the world, a key element to its current performance, according to Éric Bouchard.

“Everyone recognizes the talent of Denis Villeneuve, and when you are in the presence of a good film, word of mouth does its job. It’s sure that Dune 2 will give a boost to our cinemas in 2024. And trailers are the best way to get people interested. »

Pre-pandemic yield

The release of Dune 1, in the middle of a pandemic – in 2021 – had generated revenues of 1.1 million in its first weekend in theaters in Quebec. It was broadcast on 161 screens, a feat in itself, Mr. Bouchard tells us, who recalls that there were still restrictions in place in theaters. In total, the film recorded revenues of 5.5 million.

A total which is likely to be exceeded with the second part of this probable trilogy.

All this bodes well for the current year, insists Éric Bouchard, who believes that theaters will finally return to their pre-pandemic performance. “In 2023, we were at 92% of our revenues compared to 2019. With the release of Dune 2 and from the beautiful calendar that is coming, we hope to be at 125%, he predicts. In 2025, we will be completely recovered, with major films hitting the screens like Avatar. »

The pandemic still had the effect of making moviegoers want to go out to theaters again, believes Éric Bouchard.

“I was much more worried in 2019 than I am today. Remember that the platforms took up a lot of space, the death of cinemas was announced, but when films returned, it was clearly demonstrated that people wanted to see films in the cinema. The studios are now saying: we are going to release this film on the platforms, this one we are going to release in theaters. And many films land on platforms after their theatrical release. So the ecosystem is taking shape, which is very good news. »

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