Timothée Chalamet Breaks Two Box Office Records with 'Dune' and 'The French Dispatch'

The young actor has roles in both of the films, which broke pandemic-era box office records over the weekend

Timothée Chalamet in Dune (left) and The French Dispatch (Right) . Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.; Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Timothée Chalamet is breaking records with both of his latest movie releases: Dune and The French Dispatch.

Dune — Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's bestselling 1965 novel — grossed $40.1 million during opening weekend after the Thursday premiere.

The sci-fi flick marks Warner Bros.' biggest three-day box office total since the company began releasing films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. The previous record was set by Godzilla vs. Kong, which opened with $31 million in March.

Dune, also starring Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa, also earned $47 million at the international box office. The film had global gross of $220 million as of Sunday.

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"I'm smiling," Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein told Variety of the numbers. "Exhibitors are thrilled. The best part is, fans are loving what they're seeing. They're loving the big-screen experience. It's been a winner of a weekend for movie-lovers."

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Mary Parent, the vice chairman of worldwide production for Dune's production company Legendary, told The Hollywood Reporter that Chalamet, 25, has been "front and center" in promoting the movie.

"I think we've only begun to scratch at the surface of his unique talents," she said. "He's a legitimate movie star, and has that intangible thing that doesn't come along very often."

"He's incredibly instinctual and authentic as an artist, and as human being," Parent added. "For being 25-years-old, his wisdom is pretty astounding. And he's been front and center in selling this movie."

(From L-R): Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens and Griffin Dunne in the film THE FRENCH DISPATCH.
The French Dispatch. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures.

Meanwhile, The French Dispatch, Wes Anderson's latest, grossed $1.3 million from just 52 theaters in the U.S. after opening on Friday. With a $25,000 per location average, the film has set the record for the top opening theater average of the COVID-19 pandemic era.

The previous top opening weekend averages of the pandemic were from Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which had an average of $21,309, and Black Widow, with $19,400.

"These figures show that after a year and a half, arthouse and independent theaters have a superhero of their own in Wes Anderson. What has been doubly encouraging is the crossover results in mainstream theaters hungry for Wes' 10th film as well," Searchlight's Frank Rodriguez told Variety.

Billed as a "love letter to journalists" and inspired in part by The New Yorker, the film features Bill Murray as editor Arthur Howitzer Jr. and the writers and story subjects that make up the magazine, played by A-Listers like Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Elisabeth Moss, Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Adrian Brody, Benicio Del Toro, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman and more.

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