Dune Part 2 Box Office vs. Budget: How Much Profit Will It Make?

By David Thompson Posted:
Timothee Chalamet Dune

After a hot start at the box office, the chances of Dune: Part Two becoming profitable are becoming more likely... but it's no guarantee.

Dune Part 2 raked in an impressive $82.5 million domestically in its opening weekend, marking the largest opening of 2024 and the best start for any Denis Villeneuve-directed movie at the box office.

However, while the optics look great for Dune Part 2's box office performance, a record-setting production budget of $190 million makes for an uphill battle in terms of turning a profit.

How Much Has Dune 2 Made So Far

Dune: Part Two brought in an impressive $46 million during its second weekend domestically, a stellar -44.2% drop from the opening weekend. This brings its North American total to $157 million, already much greater than 2021's Dune.

Overseas Dune 2 is performing just as well, hauling in $81 million internationally and bringing its global total to $367.5 million. It will soon surpass Part One's total, on its way to $650 million or more worldwide.

How Dune Part 2 Can Be Profitable

Zendaya in Rebecca Ferguson in Dune Part 2
Warner Bros.

A general rule of thumb is that a theatrically released film needs to earn double its budget or top its budget to be profitable. In this case, that would equate to grossing $380 million or more at the global box office for Dune: Part Two.

However, this doesn't factor in the projected marketing budget, which is likely to be greater than $100 million factoring in the delay, commercials, and red-carpet events.

Insider David A. Gross told Variety, "The marketing will be exhaustive, even without strong theater attendance leading up to its opening. The campaign isn’t going to miss a thing."

While the cost to promote the film will be "exhaustive," Dune: Part Two won't need to rely solely on its box office performance.

There's a "waterfall" effect to movie earnings (as explained by John Mass on The Town podcast), which includes digital sales, Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD), and future TV rights. 

During these post-theatrical releases, the studios also benefit from earning more of a percentage of the profit compared to theaters, which generally are split 50/50.

The global box office results also factor into how much the rate (price) will be for the film's streaming rights for the foreseeable future. 

An important note is that the studios, Warner Bros. in its case, will internally predict how much a movie like Dune Part 2 will earn over 10 years, far beyond its trip to theaters.

That said, there's a bevy of ways for Dune: Part Two to end up in the black (profitable).

Will Dune Part 2 Make Money?

Sticking strictly to the box office run, Dune: Part Two is in a great situation to earn turn and profit and possibly set several records.

It's safe to predict that the second Dune cost $300 million or more when factoring in marketing. Warner Bros. is certainly hoping it will earn more than its predecessor, which grossed $434.8 worldwide.

As it is already approaching $200 million globally after a single weekend, the expectations are well beyond that of the first film.

The Direct previously projected a $700 million worldwide total, which would certainly put Dune Part 2 on track to turn a profit before leaving theaters.

Even if Dune 2 were to stumble in theaters, the brand and its star-studded cast would most likely generate big numbers of digital and streaming platforms.

A recent film like Saltburn, starring Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi, only earned $21 million worldwide at the box office but has been one of the most popular streaming movies on Amazon Prime Video

This example takes the idea of a traditional "flop" and puts it into the 2024 context where internet virality can make a movie a massive success.

In Dune: Part Two's case, there's a sense of urgency to see the film in theaters, fueled by viral trends revolving around popcorn buckets and Timothee Chalament thirst traps. In addition, similar to Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, many audience members are paying extra to see the new film in premium formats.

Box Office Pro reported that Dune 2 earned $32.2 million from 809 IMAX screens and overall premium formats represented 48% of its earnings opening weekend worldwide.

Based on financial reporting by Deadline on The Batman, a similarly priced film, there's an approximate range for what Dune Part 2 could ultimately earn.

Factoring in all costs and the waterfall of digital and streaming releases, Dune: Part Two will likely have a studio net profit of between $100-$200 million.

With the positive word of mouth off the charts, Dune: Part Two will likely become one of WB's most successful franchise films this decade.

Dune: Part Two is now playing in theaters worldwide.

Read more about Dune: Part Two

Dune Part 2 Streaming: When Will It Release Online?

Dune 3 Gets Frustrating Release Update from Director

Dune 2 Gets Unsurprising Rating

- In This Article: Dune: Part 2
Release Date
March 01, 2024
Rebecca Ferguson
Timothée Chalamet
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.