The news comes despite IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond stating just one month ago that reports of the film’s possible delay were “not true”.
“I feel quite strongly that it’s not going to move,” he said of the film’s previous release date of 3 November 2023, adding that it would be a questionable move due to the film’s six-week window of IMAX exclusivity.
This window would have seen Dune: Part Two be screened on IMAX screens despite competition from The Marvels, a Captain Marvel sequel starring Brie Larson. The film will now be released on 14 March 2024.
Fans are surprised that the delay was announced considering the film will probably not receive such a lucrative IMAX showing in March 2024.
“Dune legitimately could’ve pushed for a billion with its previous date,” one person wrote, adding: “It had IMAX screen exclusivity for the entirety of the winter and next to no competition. Now it’s gonna be lucky to cross $500m.”
Another stated: “WB saw the success of Oppenheimer in the IMAX format and looked at the six week run that Dune Part Two would have in November and said, ‘Nah. We good.’”
“Feels unwise to delay it given the box office revenues for major Hollywood blockbusters over the last month,” an additional cinemagoer wrote.
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has also been delayed, moving from March to 12 April 2024. However, the studio will push ahead with its big December 2023 releases: Wonka (15 December), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (20 December) and The Color Purple (25 December).