Another week has past and I have posted another Dune movie: ‘Why the Weird Release Date for Dune?’. This time I speculate on the weird release schedule for the Dune movie starring Timothee Chalamet. Its release rollout start on September 15th in Belgium followed by other European countries. But it is not until October 22nd that the US will see its theatrical release. On the same day as it streams on HBO MAX. You can watch my video and I have also posted the script below that. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you like my content.
September 16th or October 22nd?
Recently Warner Brothers confirmed the official release date for the new Dune movie to be October 22nd. For some who were hoping that the date would be October 1st will to contend with a small delay, but what is actually surprising is that the international release date for Dune is much sooner, that is set for September 16th.
Viewers in Europe in countries such as France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands will be able to watch it at least 5 weeks before any viewers in the Unites States. Why is that? Why did Warner Brothers decide on a roll-out lasting 5 weeks when almost every movie now is released worldwide simultaneously? Considering the US is still the principal market for most movies why run the risk losing ticket sales with illegal camera copies and reviews containing spoilers?
Will this weird release date also affect the chances for part 2 of the Dune adaptation? A lot depends on who is capable of making decisions regarding its release. Last year director Denis Villeneuve appeared stunned at WBs announcement of a simultaneous release on HBO MAX. It thus appears he cannot do anything else besides delaying the movie.
While no official reason has been given consensus has formed around the idea that an international release early will ensure a decent intake. The hope being that such a move would do a lot to convince Warner Brothers that the second half of the story should also be adapted. I am not entirely convinced by this argument. Warner Brothers will know that the cinema box office will probably disappoint anyway considering audience numbers are remain depressed by COVID. They may never reach previous levels anyway considering the popularity of streaming services.
Others of have speculated an early international release will build more hype. That may be true but then why don’t other movie releases follow the same pattern? Wonder Woman 1984 was an exception and presumably to good results considering another sequel has been announced. Slowly I am starting to think the early international release may be for inscrutable reasons such as contractual obligations or financial incentives. There is even the idea it is trying to preempt a new COVID wave that may force would-be viewers to stay home. Back when the decision was made Europe was somewhat lagging with vaccination, a situation that has since reversed with the US suffering from a new wave that is already making its presence felt at the box office.
While speculation on this weird release date has not yielded a likely answer there are significant consequences. Considering it also releases on HBO MAX on October 22nd a high-resolution copy will no doubt be available on Torrent sites within hours and that may harm cinema goers even more. A concern voiced by the director. So, is this release schedule yet another self-inflicted wound by Warner Brothers? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.
Dune Part 2
Despite all this speculation it does not appear that the follow-up movie is in doubt, note that I am not using the term sequel, the follow-up is simply Part 2 of the Dune adaptation.
In fact, director Denis Villeneuve has remained mostly quiet on the Dune movie release date since the announcement that its release is set for October 22nd in the US. Instead, the director has mentioned Zendaya’s enlarged role in the follow-up and that he already writing the script. The announcement regarding Zendaya is probably an effort to warn fans that her role in this movie is not that large. In the original novel she does not appear well into the second half.
It reminds me of the debacle surrounding Gwendoline Christie’s character Captain Phasma during the release of The Force Awakens. I think this announcement is fair to fans of Zendaya.
All that said, the director is now writing Dune Part 2 and according to him the studio is squarely behind him. In an interview with IndieWire.com he did mention that the box office returns remain paramount.
The Art and Soul of Dune
Finally, I want to mention how this release date affects the release of the merchandise. The behind the scenes book of its production ‘The Art and Soul of Dune’ is written by Tanya Lapointe who also wrote a similar effort for Blade Runner 2049. That book will keep its release date of October 22nd, coinciding with the US release of the movie. The official soundtrack for the movie, provided by Hans Zimmer, will be released in September. Note that the soundtrack comes in 3 albums. The first is called The Dune Sketchbook, set for September 3rd contains the first trailer cover of Eclipse as well the two tracks already available. The second album is the full motion picture soundtrack and is set for September 17th. Finally, there is a companion soundtrack to the book The Art and Soul of Dune Limited Edition.
The second novel in the Caladan Trilogy, The Lady of the Caladan by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert remains set for September 21st.
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