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Pursuits

Despite Hybrid Release, 'Dune' Draws Well on the Big Screen

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Timothee Chalamet, left, and Charlotte Rampling in a scene from "Dune." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Timothee Chalamet, left, and Charlotte Rampling in a scene from "Dune." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

New York (AP) -- Denis Villeneuve's “Dune” debuted with $40.1 million in ticket sales in its opening weekend in North America, drawing a large number of moviegoers to see the thundering sci-fi epic on the big screen despite it also being available to stream in homes.

Warner Bros. launched the Legendary Entertainment production simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. When the studio first charted that course for all its 2021 releases due to the pandemic, how the strategy would affect “Dune” — one of the year's most anticipated spectacles — was always one of the biggest question marks. Villeneuve vehemently protested the decision.