DUNE & NO TIME TO DIE Secure Highly Coveted China Release Dates
While Disney hasn't had luck with their Marvel movies, it looks like both Dune and No Time to Die were able to secure China release dates, which could be quite a big boost for their box office returns.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have secured a day-and-date October 22 China release for Denis Villeneuve's highly anticipated Dune, while Universal has nabbed an October 29 release for Daniel Craig's 007 swan song No Time to Die.
This is a significant development, and will prove to be critical for the overall box office prospects of both films, which are hoping to become two of this year's biggest earners. They will also be two of the first Hollywood titles to play in the Middle Kingdom since Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy, which has earned a massive $85.1 million from China alone ($300M worldwide), so the potential payday should be quite lucrative.
It's especially good news for Dune: Part One, whose global release is being handled by the Wanda-owned Legendary East, as it's now expected to receive a monumental rollout across the country, opening in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. The move should also provide a much-needed box office boost as Warner Bros. braces itself for the potential impact from their controversial decision to debut the film simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max in the United States. While piracy will also certainly play a factor, it seems increasingly likely that the highly ambitious endeavor could reach a figure that ultimately allows WB to comfortably move forward with Dune: Part Two.
Unfortunately, it looks like no Marvel Studios movies will be granted a China release this year, with both Cate Shortland's Black Widow and Destin Daniel Cretton's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings highly unlikely to receive dates at this point, while Chloe Zhao's Eternals is not expected to receive a China date in November, either.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean that no Marvel film will be opening in China this year, as it seems highly probable that both Sony/Marvel releases Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home will be granted release dates in the not-so-distant future, especially considering the lead characters' massive popularity overseas.
The first Venom grossed over $269.1 million in China in the fall of 2018 while Spider-Man: Far From Home brought in $198.9 million in 2019, ahead of the annual blackout period. Plus, Sony will likely move heaven and earth to ensure their two biggest releases of the year - both billion-dollar hopefuls - screen in the world's largest film market.