Dune Will Premiere Slightly Earlier On HBO Max

The impending release of "Dune," Denis Villeneuve's latest sci-fi epic, promises that "the spice must flow." But for those viewers who will be taking in the film from the comfort and safety of their own homes rather than the multiplex, it turns out the spice will flow just a little bit sooner.

As you may remember, "Dune" was one of the many Warner Bros. productions that found itself at the center of an industry-wide controversy last year: namely, AT&T's decision to release their entire slate of films simultaneously between movie theaters and the HBO Max streaming service (referred to as "day-and-date") with little to no warning given to their top talent. At the time, Villeneuve spoke out harshly against the unprecedented move and even went so far to say that, "Warner Bros. might have just killed the 'Dune' franchise." Cooler heads have (presumably) prevailed in the time since, as AT&T has gotten out of the movie business altogether and the temporary nature of this unusual day-and-date arrangement has become clear amid the ongoing pandemic.

In any case, that's all of less immediate concern to audiences who simply want to watch "Dune" as soon (and as safely) as they can. How much sooner will that be than we'd previously thought? I'm glad you asked!

Early Bird Gets the (Sand)Worm

After over a year of pandemic uncertainty, the final release date for "Dune" has ultimately been locked in for this upcoming Friday, October 22, 2021. Of course, many theaters have abided by the tradition of providing showtimes on the evening before the official release date, especially for big event films of similar scope and scale. This has given theatergoing audiences a very slight head start when it comes to the latest Warner Bros. films, as the same films have not typically been made available on HBO Max until midnight. According to Collider, however, "Dune" will be streaming on HBO Max a handful of hours earlier than expected — on the evening of October 21, at 3 P.M. PDT/6 P.M. EST.

Of course, the rest of the world is standing around and laughing at us as "Dune" has already been available in oversea markets for quite some time now. In fact, the blockbuster has already accumulated over $100 million at the box office, buoying hopes that Villeneuve's initial reaction to the multi-platform release of "Dune" was overstated and that a sequel to Part 1 could very well be in the offing. It remains to be seen how well "Dune" performs domestically between both theaters and online, but it's appearing increasingly likely that we won't have seen the last of Paul Atreides and his family's fight for survival on the desert planet of Arrakis.