Fans of Dune can breathe a sigh of relief. While the announcement of greenlighting the Dune sequel to Dennis Villeneuve’s first part of the massive sci-fi film was expected. There had been a little nervousness among fans of the story that Legendary or Warner Bros. might not want to continue the story since reviews have been mixed all over the internet. Even our own crew here at LRM is very divided on how to rate the sci-fi film. Earlier this week Legendary pictures gave the great news that Dune Part Two will happen and even more important it will be a theatrical-only release.
This is only the beginning…
— Legendary (@Legendary) October 26, 2021
The announcement of a theatrical-only release is a sign that both Legendary and Warner Bros. have faith in the theater industry and that fans will go see the movie in the theaters. Only six months ago studios like Warner Bros. and Disney were hesitant to give a vote of confidence to theatrical only releases for big blockbuster films. While box office numbers haven’t reached the numbers they were prior to the pandemic but numbers are steadily increasing with more viewers opting to watch a new release in theaters rather than at home.
As a general film fan, the news of a theatrical only release excites me, especially for movies like Dune. As someone who had no real knowledge of the storyline, it was hard for me to get through the movie at home. I tried to watch the film three times at home in my theater room and couldn’t make it past halfway each time. I finally went to go see it on Imax at the advice of a friend and I can admit that this movie is better seen in a theater than at home. While the first act of the movie is slow for me, I was entertained by the special effects, sounds, and overall theatrical experience to keep me hooked that I was able to make it through the entire movie.
While there still may be a future for same-day theatrical and on-demand releases, big-budget films like Dune deserve a theatrical-only release. While it may not change some reviews or feelings, big-budget films need to have a level playing field experience to be judged on. What do you think for those of you that have seen Dune both in theaters and at home? Does the news of a theatrical only release for Dune Part Two give you faith in the theater industry moving forward?