'Dune' tops North American box office in opening weekend

Science fiction film "Dune" took the top spot at the North American box office with an estimated US$40.1 million in its opening weekend.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures' science fiction film "Dune" took the top spot at the North American box office with an estimated US$40.1 million in its opening weekend, according to studio figures collected by measurement firm Comscore.

Directed by Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve, the film is a big-screen adaptation of American author Frank Herbert's 1965 novel of the same name, one of the world's best-selling science fiction novels of all time.

A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, "Dune" tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.

The film has a star-studded ensemble cast including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian and Chinese actor Chang Chen.

The film holds an approval rating of 83 percent based on 321 reviews from critics to date on review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Movie audiences gave it an "A-" on CinemaScore.

Overseas, "Dune" brought in an estimated US$47.4 million this weekend, pushing its international running cume to US$180.6 million for a global total of US$220.7 million. The film pulled in nearly 140 million yuan (US$21.9 million) in China over three days, according to the box office data compiled by Maoyan, a Chinese movie-ticketing and film data platform.

Universal and Blumhouse's slasher film "Halloween Kills" fell to No. 2 this weekend, taking in US$14.5 million for a North American total of US$73.1 million after ten days in release.

Directed by David Gordon Green, the film is a sequel to "Halloween," which earned over US$250 million worldwide in 2018. Jamie Lee Curtis, 62, reprises her role as Laurie Strode, a survivor of Michael Myers' killing spree, in the 12th installment in the four-decade Halloween franchise. The beloved protagonist joins a group of other survivors of Michael's first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt the masked monster down, once and for all.

In third place, the latest James Bond film "No Time to Die" brought in US$11.88 million in its third weekend. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists Releasing's blockbuster has grossed US$120.04 million in North America for a global total of US$525.35 million.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the 25th installment in the Bond franchise is Daniel Craig's fifth and final film in the role of the British spy. The film, with a reported budget of over US$250 million, also stars Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris among others.

In this film, Bond's new mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading him onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Sony's presentation of Columbia Pictures' superhero film "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" landed in fourth with US$9.1 million in its fourth weekend for a North American total of US$181.83 million.

Produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and China's Tencent Pictures, the theater-only release is the sequel to 2018 blockbuster "Venom." Directed by Andy Serkis, the film stars Tom Hardy who returns to the big screen as the lethal protector Venom, one of Marvel's greatest and most complex characters.

A newcomer, 20th Century Studios and Locksmith Animation's animated film "Ron's Gone Wrong" finished fifth with US$7.3 million in its opening weekend.

Directed by Jean-Philippe Vine and Sarah Smith, the film features the voices of Zach Galifianakis, Olivia Colman, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ed Helms, Justice Smith and Thomas Barbusca, among others.

The film is the story of Barney, a socially awkward middle-schooler and Ron, his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device, which is supposed to be his "Best Friend out of the Box." Ron's hilarious malfunctions, set against the backdrop of the social media age, launch them into an action-packed journey in which boy and robot come to terms with the wonderful messiness of true friendship.

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