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‘Dune’ Hits $76 Million at International Box Office

Moviegoers, at least at the international box office, have kept the ticket sales flowing for “Dune,” the big-budget reimagining of Frank Herbert’s landmark sci-fi novel.

The movie, directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”), brought in $26.3 million from 32 overseas markets in its second weekend of release. It has generated $76.5 million to date, a solid tally given that many parts of the international box office have been slow to recover from COVID-19.

However, the Warner Bros. and Legendary film cost $165 million to produce, meaning it will need to generate nothing short of a tidy sum in theatres to turn a profit. “Dune” doesn’t debut in the U.S. — a key market for the film — until Oct. 22, when it will land simultaneously on HBO Max.

The interplanetary tale, starring Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya and Oscar Isaac, will open in China in late October, which is promising because many recent Hollywood movies haven’t been granted permission to screen in the world’s biggest movie market.

“Dune” had the biggest turnout in Russia with $4.9 million from 1,850 screens, marking a 37% decline from its opening. France followed close behind with $4.2 million from 893 screens (down 33%), while Germany brought in $3.4 million from 900 screens. Among new territories, “Dune” generated $1 million in the United Arab Emirates and $969,000 in Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere at the international box office, Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” collected $14 million, bringing its foreign tally to $166.9 million. The Marvel comic book adaptation, led by Canadian actor Simu Liu, has been a hit in North America, where it has become the highest-grossing movie of the year with $196 million to date. Globally, “Shang-Chi” has generated $363.4 million, a strong result for pandemic times.

In a notable box office benchmark, Disney and 20th Century’s sci-fi comedy “Free Guy” has crossed the $200 million mark internationally. The film, starring Ryan Reynolds as a cheeky video game character, added another $5.1 million from 48 overseas markets, boosting its international total to $203.3 million and its worldwide tally to $317 million.

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