Let’s not tempt fate (or the wrath of those giant sandworms), but there’s promising news coming in from Arrakis: Dune is off to a good start at the international box office. While UK audiences are waiting patiently for the mid-October arrival of Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi spectacular, adapted from the legendary novel by Frank Herbert, other audiences around the world are getting an early hit of Spice thanks to the film’s staggered international release. As of last Friday, the film is officially out on the big screen in countries like France, Russia, Germany and Italy – where it’s already packing in the punters.

From its opening weekend in 24 markets, Dune has already earned $35.8 million – a strong start for a potentially niche proposition, with a mightily impressive but not necessarily all-out A-list cast, and a dense plot that some worried might not be mainstream-audience-friendly. But in those countries lucky enough to get it early, Dune has mostly blasted straight to the #1 spot in the film charts, and is seeing a decent chunk of money coming in from IMAX screenings (an ideal format to take in the vast scope of Arrakis’ sand dunes).

As for UK viewers, there’s still a month to go until Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 follow-up touches down here – set to hit cinemas on 21 October. The day after that, it reaches US screens too – both as a cinematic release, and on HBO Max. Also promising for its financial prospects? The film is now officially going to open in China that weekend too – and as one of the biggest film markets in the world, a big haul there could be a major boost to its overall box office haul.

As we said up top – let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But, since the proposed Dune: Part Two is likely dependent on a solid-to-great return for this opening chapter, we’re seemingly one step closer to the much-needed follow-up getting that all-important green light. Celebratory recycled-piss-water drinks all around.

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