Considering the last couple of years we’ve had, it’s perhaps no surprise to see so many wishing to explore an exciting new world.

From Star Wars to Tenet, some of the biggest movies of cinema’s past and present have been firmly entrenched in the sci-fi genre. Indeed, a small selection of the most acclaimed in recent memory have been helmed by French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve.

While the likes of Sicario and Prisoners have earned no end of praise, the director is arguably best known for Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, two very different visions both serving audiences a hefty dose of hard sci-fi.

After those, fans of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune were thrilled to learn that Denis would be tackling a colossal cinematic adaptation.

Despite David Lynch having delivered one back in 1984 and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s wild attempt – which was sadly never completed – some have regarded the book unfilmable.

Nevertheless, plenty of skeptics have already admitted they were wrong after seeing Denis’ extraordinary creation. There was so much talent aboard that it was arguably impossible for them to fail, but the money pummelled into it certainly helped too.

So, how much did it cost to make Dune?

Still from”Dune”, Warner Bros Pictures

How much did it cost to make Dune?

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune had a production budget of $165 million. This is the figure before marketing expenses.

The aforementioned David Lynch version had a budget of just over $40 million, so this one is a lot more expensive. As for Denis’ previous work, his previous film – Blade Runner 2049 – has a budget estimated somewhere between $150 and $185 million.

Although Dune is such a massive project, it’s not over yet and there is more money to be spent.

The film opens with the title Dune: Part One and ends with much more story to tell. That’s because the 2021 film is an adaptation of half of Frank’s book, with Part: Two hopefully planned to serve as the final installment.

Explaining the decision, Denis acknowledged while in conversation with GamesRadar: “It was always meant to be a two-part movie and it was always meant to have ‘Part One’ at the beginning because I feel like it would be misleading and dishonest to pretend that it’s the whole story being told in a single movie.”

He “wanted the audience to understand, right from the start, that they were about to see the first part of a bigger story.” Although, the future of the franchise essentially depends on the performance of Part One.

So, when talking about budget, it’s just as imperative to discuss box office…

Dune | Final Trailer

Dune | Final Trailer

Dune opening box office explored

Entertainment Weekly highlights that Dune made $40 million domestically in its opening weekend. Combined with overseas box office, the worldwide gross helped the blockbuster earn over a whopping $200 million.

This is even more impressive when accounting for the fact that the film premiered same-day on HBO Max.

Other films have premiered same-day on HBO Max this year, but Dune is the most successful, taking the throne from Godzilla vs. Kong, which took in $31.7 million domestically on its opening weekend.

Blade Runner 2049 took in $32.8 million back in 2017, so Dune is now Denis’ most financially successful opening too.

If interest doesn’t dwindle and audiences continue to flock to theaters, it would be hard to imagine Warner Bros’ refusing to give Part: Two the greenlight. Speaking of which, what’s the situation with the sequel?

Contemplating Dune: Part Two

It has already been confirmed that the screenplay for Part: Two was being written back in September.

The first film downright demands a sequel, so ultimately its financial success is the determiner for whether we get the final installment.

In the GamesRadar interview, Denis revealed that he initially wished to film both films back to back and have them released in a similar fashion to The Lord of the Rings efforts.

Unfortunately, he explained that this approach “was too expensive”. Yet, he admits that there was a silver lining there: “… frankly, I’m grateful that it didn’t happen as I wished because I would have been too exhausted.

As of yet, Warner Bros. is yet to greenlight another Dune movie, but the box office so far is a good sign and even before then Denis had said he was “optimistic” about getting the go-ahead.

Dune is now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.

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