"Dune 2" Starts at a Mighty $81.5 Million and Rocks the Box Office

"Dune: Part Two" is soaring to the top of the box office rankings thanks to those enormous sandworms.  

The big-budget follow-up from director Denis Villeneuve has made $81.5 million in its domestic , 

 premiere and given beleaguered movie theaters a much-needed boost.  

The opening weekend is the biggest of the year and the biggest since Taylor Swift's $93 million concert film "The Eras Tour" in October of last year.   

David A. Gross of the film consulting company Franchise Entertainment Research adds, 

 "This is an amazing opening for a science-fiction [sequel]." "Audiences are relating to these vulnerable, human characters."  

The sequel brought in an additional $97 million at the foreign box office, for a staggering total of $178 million worldwide.  

According to Mary Parent, the producer of "Dune," "it's really permeated the culture." "Everything suggests a lengthy play."   

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