“Dune: Part Two” left the 2023 box office slate amid dual labor strikes in Hollywood that threaten its ability to market to audiences.
Thursday, Warner Bros. Discovery Legendary Entertainment has announced that the Denis Villeneuve movie will move to March 15, 2024, taking its place in the calendar from “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” which moves to April 12, 2024.
Shuffle also shifts the animated movie “Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” to December 13, 2024.
Box office analysts have long predicted that the “Dune” sequel will drop its 2023 release date amid strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild. Because of the SAG strike, in particular, actors are not allowed to promote current or even previous films produced by studios within the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance.
AMPTP is currently in negotiations with the WGA and will likely not enter into talks with SAG-AFTRA until this is finalized and a new contract has been agreed. While the writers and producers are on the table, talks aren’t moving quickly, and so it’s unlikely to conclude in enough time for the “Dune: Part Two” team to actively promote the film.
Along with industry veterans like Christopher Walken, Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista and Jason Momoa, the film stars four of Hollywood’s most iconic young stars.
Zendaya, Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler collectively have over 200 million followers on Instagram and are popular faces on TikTok, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
While older moviegoers who love the book and saw the first “Dune” will hit theaters, younger audiences may miss the chance to see the movie without an upgrade from these stars.
A delay of “Dune: Part Two” could help boost its box office gains in 2024, but it will cut into a huge chunk of Warner Bros.’s revenue. Discovery in 2023.
After the smashing success of Barbie, and with doubts mounting over Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom in December, Dune: Part Two was an important 2023 release for the studio that’s expected to do well with audiences.
The former film has outperformed at the box office during the pandemic despite being a daily and date release on the HBO Max (now called Max) streaming service. The film received 10 Academy Award nominations, winning six Academy Awards.
And as pandemic restrictions on cinemas are lifted, projections indicate that “Dune: Part Two” will surpass the nearly $400 million the previous film made at the global box office.
With “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” Part 2 taking over, “Dune” Part 2 should keep the majority of premium-format screens accessible, such as imacs and benefiting consumers who have increasingly gravitated towards these unique and more affordable theatrical experiences.