Timothee Chalamet Wins Box Office Doubleheader With ‘Dune’ and ‘French Dispatch’

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter

Timothée Chalamet enjoyed a successful doubleheader at the domestic box office over the weekend as two of his high-profile films opened to strong numbers: Dune and The French Dispatch .

Dune in particular is another defining moment for the young actor. The sci-fi epic, from Warner Bros. and Legendary, marks the first time Chalamet has played the lead role in a major Hollywood studio tentpole.

“I think we’ve only begun to scratch at the surface of his unique talents,” Legendary’s vice chairman worldwide production Mary Parent told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday. “He’s a legitimate movie star, and has that intangible thing that doesn’t come along very often.”

Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s Dune opened to a strong $40.1 million at the domestic box office despite facing competition from a dual release in the home. The movie scored the best domestic bow of Villeneuve’s career, as well as the best for a Warners’ hybrid theatrical-HBO Max release. Globally, the movie has earned north of $202 million.

Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi classic features an all-star cast that also includes Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa and Zendaya. Chalamet, as well as Zendaya, played an integral role in helping to market Dune to younger moviegoers, according to Parent.

Chalamet’s social media posts promoting Dune have been frequent; he’s also encouraged consumers to enjoy the event pic on the big screen.

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

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch , whose high-profile ensemble cast includes Chalamet, made headlines at the specialty box office in scoring the top opening theater average of the pandemic era.

The Searchlight Pictures movie grossed $1.3 million from 52 cinemas in 14 U.S. markets, or $25,000 per location. The previous best three-day opening weekend average of the pandemic era belonged to Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($21,309) and, before that, Black Widow ($19,400).

Anderson and Villeneuve are two of the numerous auteur directors who have been drawn to Chalamet, whose career arc soared after starring in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name . Chalamet became the third-youngest actor to be nominated for best actor for his performance in the acclaimed 2017 indie film.

Chalamet also starred in Greta Gerwig’s award-winning indie film Lady Bird ; the two quickly reunited for Sony’s Little Women.

His other film credits since his breakout role in Call Me by Your Name include Beautiful Boy (Amazon Studios) and The King (Netflix).

Chalamet has a supporting role in Adam McKay’s upcoming movie Don’t Look Up , starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. Netflix opens the buzzy film in December during the heart of awards season.

The actor’s next traditional major studio film is Warners’ Wonka , a prequel to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tale. Chalamet recently used his Twitter account to reveal a photo of himself on set dressed in character as infamous chocolatier Willy Wonka.

Wonka is scheduled to hit theaters March 17, 2023.

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