Rebecca Ferguson and Timothee Chalamet, in scene from “Dune.”
via Associated Press

After the a record-breaking start, October’s box office closed out quietly this weekend with “Dune” repeating at number one and two prominent genre newcomers, “ Last Night in Soho ” and “Antlers,” stumbling.

Whether it’s due to Halloween falling on a Sunday, too many new options or simply a lack of enthusiasm, moviegoing audiences seemed to have other plans this weekend. Notable exceptions are the latest “My Hero Academia” and the new Wes Anderson pic “The French Dispatch.”

First place still went to the bigger budget and wider release Timothée Chalamet film. In its second weekend in theaters, “Dune,” which is also available on HBO Max, grossed an additional $15.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. However, it is still up 62% from its debutThe ticket sales were sufficient to keep it at the top of the North American charts for one week more.

With a production budget of $165 million (not including marketing and promotion), “Dune” has now grossed $69.4 million in North America and $292.1 millon globally. Warner Bros. and Legendary last week confirmed plans to go ahead with a sequelIt is anticipated that the film will be exclusively shown in theatres by 2023.

“Halloween Kills,” in its third weekend, placed second with $8.5 million. This modern trilogy’s penultimate movie has grossed worldwide $115.1 millions.

Edgar Wright’s “Last Night in Soho,” meanwhile, opened in sixth place. The stylish thriller, distributed by Focus and playing on 316 screens, grossed $4.2 million. Thomasin McKenzie stars as a modern-day fashion student who at night dreams increasingly realistic dreams of Anya Taylor-Joy’s aspiring singer in the 1960s.

“There are few bigger champions of the theatrical experience than Edgar and we couldn’t be prouder he has made Focus his home,” said Lisa Bunnell, Focus’ president of distribution.

Scott Cooper’s “ Antlers,” about a mythical beast terrorizing a blighted Oregon town, also earned an estimated $4.2 million from 2,800 locations. The Searchlight-distributed horror stars Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons.

“Obviously, we hoped for a little more but we went up head to head against ‘Last Night in Soho,’ another really good genre film,” said Frank Rodriguez, Searchlight’s head of distribution. “They may have cancelled each other out.”

But he’s optimistic going forward since next weekend’s big releases include the Princess Diana film “Spencer” and the Marvel epic “Eternals,” and “Antlers” has a different audience.

One of the brighter spots of the weekend was “ The French Dispatch,” also distributed by Searchlight, which expanded after a limited debut and made $2.8 million from only 788 total locations. In 10 days of release, it’s made $4.6 million.

“We’re still ecstatic about it,” Rodriguez said. “It’s amazing to see art house theaters who haven’t seen numbers like this in 18 months finally starting to see people coming out … We are helping to open up the doors to art house and specialty theaters.”

Even though the weekend was quiet, October became the top-grossing month for the year. Total grosses are expected to reach $625 millions. Previous record was July’s $583.8million.

“October became a blockbuster month by virtue of the unusual nature of the pandemic. So many big movies moved into October,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “It surpassed July. That never happens.”

Things aren’t quite back to “normal” yet. Comparatively, the total gross revenues in October 2019, pre-pandemic, were approximately $781.6 Million and $830.8 Million in 2018. Dergarabedian stated that the strong October 2021 box-office has created momentum which should last through the end.

“This sets up a final three months of the year that feel more like summer than summer did in 2021,” he added. “Audiences follow the movie no matter what month they’re in. The movies define the month — the month doesn’t define the movies.”

According to Comscore, Friday-Sunday ticket sales are estimated at approximately $2.5 billion in U.S. theaters and Canada. On Monday, the final domestic figures will become public.

1. “Dune,” $15.5 million.

2. “Halloween Kills,” $8.5 million.

3. “No Time To Die,” $7.8 million.

4. “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission,” $6.4 million.

5. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” $5.8 million.

6. “Antlers,” $4.2 million.

7. “Last Night in Soho,” $4.2 million.

8. “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” $3.8 million.

9. “The Addams Family 2,” $3.3 million.

10. “The French Dispatch,” $2.8 million.


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