Inside Hollywood’s great blockbuster drought of 2024

Nov 15, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: The Telegraph (by Charles Gant).

This morning, the weekend numbers rolled in for North America and global box office, and they do not exactly make encouraging reading for cinema operators. In North America, the market total of just $63.4m represents the second-worst weekend this year. Globally, the chart saw little in the way of new entries, the highest – in fourth place – being Chinese crime thriller Last Suspect, playing in China only. In UK and Ireland, the situation is even worse, with US indie comedy Bottoms as the highest new entry in the weekend chart, in seventh place.

It could all have been very different, had Warner Bros stuck to its plan of releasing Dune: Part Two on Friday November 3. That was where the film was originally dated. Given that the first Dune film grossed more than $400m worldwide, and was well-received by audiences, it’s fair to assume that the concluding part of the story will do similar numbers.

Blame the ongoing standoff between Hollywood actors and their employers – namely the studios and streamers. With actors forbidden by unions SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) from promotional duties until the current strike resolves, Warner Bros in August opted to delay Dune: Part Two to next March, by which time the strike should be over.

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