Dune debuted at the top of the domestic box office as the science-fiction epic raked in $17.5 million on Friday.
The film set a new record for a Warner Bros. and HBO Max’s day and date release and marked a career-best opening day for director Denis Villeneuve, according to Deadline.
Warner Bros. projected that the movie will take in $33 million over the weekend though industry estimates set the film’s haul at $39 million.
Dune was released simultaneously in 4,125 theaters and on HBO Max, where subscribers can stream the film for free.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s opening numbers included $5.1 million from Thursday previews, with IMAX theaters accounting for $4.5 million or 24% of its total gross.
Villaneuve’s previous Friday box office high was his 2017 sci-fi reboot Blade Runner 2049 which took in $12.6 million.
Dune’s haul surpassed Warner Bros and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong which posted a $$11.8 million and finished with $31.7 million total weekend take when it was released in March.
Warner Bros. has adopted the day and date release strategy for its entire slate of 2021 films in an effort to entice viewers who might avoid theaters due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Adapted from Frank Herbert’s 1965 classic novel, Dune is headlined by a star-studded cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Jason Momoa.
The film follows a gifted young man Paul Atreides (Chalamet) who embarks on journey to a perilous desert planet where warring factions are battling for control of the precious commodity known as ‘spice’ that extends human life and enables interstellar travel.
The film has been well-received by critics with a score of 83% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 92%.
The film has already taken in $130 million from the global box office since its international release began earlier this month.
In China, its Friday and Saturday hauls combined for $12.5 despite eight provinces experiencing either full or partial theater shutdowns due another COVID-19 outbreak.
Dune’s reported production budget was $165 million before marketing and distribution costs. 20th Century Studios and Locksmith Animation’s Ron’s Gone Wrong was the weekend’s other major release.
The animated family film debuted at $2.5 million on Friday with a projected box office weekend total of $7.07, according to Variety.