‘Dune’ Harvests $22 Million on Opening Weekend in China, but That’s Not Enough to Gain Desert Power

Due failed to perform well in the largest movie market in the world

Image via Warner Bros.

Sadly, there’s no desert power happening in China right now; Dune is experiencing a lackluster box office performance on the other side of the Pacific, much to the chagrin of Warner Bros Studios. It only made $6 million on Friday and managed to gross $21.6 million over the whole three-day weekend. While making over $20 million is nothing to sneeze at for most, it’s important to put those numbers in context. In the U.S., despite a day-and-date simultaneous release in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service, Dune captivated North American audiences to the tune of $40.1 million, which is just short of double the numbers it ran in China.

So why is this U.S. blockbuster – which has enjoyed one of the best performances in theaters since the Covid outbreak started slowing down and theatergoers decided that the reward was worth the risk – performing so poorly? Well, Covid does share a little bit of the blame. Eight provinces were closed over the weekend due to new outbreaks, so nobody was going to the cinema. Although those particular provinces don’t usually perform well in general, they do attract a substantial number of tourists – which could have boosted Dune‘s numbers for the country if theaters were allowed to remain open.

Image via Warner Bros.

RELATED: Box Office: ‘Dune’ Pulls in $40 Million for Biggest Weekend for a Movie Also Debuting on HBO Max

For even more context, Dune had some tough competition to go up against this weekend. The third highest grossing movie in all of China’s history, The Battle of Lake Changjin, earned another $32 million, adding to its nearly $830 million total. Propaganda films have also been performing very well due to the recent National Day holiday that was celebrated on October 1.

Dune is now playing in theaters and also available for streaming on HBO Max from now until November 21. After that, it will become available in theaters only.

KEEP READING: Sharon Duncan Brewster on ‘Dune,’ Frank Herbert, and the Way He Wrote Powerful Women

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