The simultaneous broadcast of Dune on digital platforms and in cinemas has revived the debates.
The most anticipated movie of the year, Dune Desert Planet, directed by Denis Villeneuve, was released last Friday and hit home theaters on HBO Max right after. For Warner Bros. and HBO Per the Max deal, all WB movies in 2021 are same day as release. HBO It can also be streamed on Max at no additional cost.
The film was watched on HBO Max by 1.9 million households in the United States last weekend. The film’s first weekend box office is in the United States. It brought in 40 million. While these numbers were considered successful given the ongoing pandemic conditions, they were slightly below expectations given the earnings of other recent films. In our country, Dune was screened in 400 theaters in its first three days. With 102,318 viewers, it earned ₺2,813,004.
HBO Max isn’t serving our country yet, but you can guess that showing the movie digitally means it will also fall for piracy. This situation has brought a new discussion on home cinema, which has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Because the tweets from some viewers who watched the movie on HBO Max were like proof that some movies shouldn’t be watched in home theaters. Because some viewers found the movie long and bored and closed it, some split it into three parts like a TV series and watched it at different times, and some said the movie didn’t wasn’t overdone and irritated those who couldn’t put the film down. In the heated discussion about it; While some argued that a film with a budget of 165 million dollars, shown in IMAX, should be seen in the cinema, others advanced the argument according to which “if a film is good, it is good wherever you were looking at it”.
So what’s the best way to watch a movie? Or is there such a way? Did the home cinema mark the end of cinema at the box office? We posed these questions to filmmakers.
Duygu Kocabaylioglu Arazli (Scriptwriter) :
Opening DUNE, one of the sci-fi fan’s bedside books, as a series again, Dune: Desert Planet is both a global and local cornerstone for movie theaters that have lost blood with productions such as Dying Can Wait, Venom 2 and The Last Duel, which were released worldwide during the fall months. Because the rooms, which have been the hardest hit in their history for 1.5 years because of the pandemic, need more than ever well-turned and strong stories. Looking at the box office receipts, it seems audiences need these stories and theaters too, as the first film in the Dune series already seems to have saved its budget in its first week (in aggregate numbers) and have passed it. Of course, using the visual power of IMAX or IMAX 3D technology is effective; On the other hand, the indication that good storytelling can bring audiences back to theaters is hidden in the interest in these films. Because the consumption of the offer of films, series and shows offered by the home cinema is much faster, much more individual and much more domestic (!). There’s still a huge difference between watching an epic, glorious story from the comfort of your home, playing it on your cell phone, or experiencing it on a giant screen in a movie theater. With the pandemic, the criteria for audiences to choose the movie theater while watching movies may become a bit sharper, but home theaters are highly unlikely to bring the end of theaters and box-office hits- office, especially on digital platforms.
Murat Tolga Şen (film/TV writer):
Dune is a prize for science fiction audiences. I love studio jobs that give the big budget to a good director. This movie is one. In my opinion, it is a work that gives the spirit of the book, well beyond the caricatural adaptation of David Lynch (which he also hated). The fact that it looks more expensive than its budget is also a director’s feat. Adding the directorial talents of Denis Villeneuve to the talents of Greg Fraiser (director of photography), Tom Brown (art director) and Hans Zimmer (music) resulted in a precise and compelling universe design that can be expanded with series, comics and other peripheral media. . Dune could also be a switch for Hollywood, which is dominated by superhero movies. One of the must-see movies…
Onur Kırşavoğlu (Screenwriter):
First of all, it should be noted that the movie Dune absolutely must be seen in theaters, and directors like Villeneuve and Nolan are sensitive to this question at the expense of wars with companies. Thus, it is not difficult to guess that these directors have designed their films based on the cinematic experience. It is obvious that epic or high-profile films should definitely be watched in movies that have the potential to be an audio-visual feast. If possible, each film should be watched in the cinema, this is a separate issue. Moreover, it must be said that watching movies from the comfort of home is also attractive with improving home theater conditions and increasing digital platforms. Here is the question; Are platforms affecting movie theaters and the future of blockbuster/epic films? My answer would be: The cinema never dies, watching movies in the hall, which is a social activity, does not stop, and it can even increase its power by becoming the cheapest luxury in the current economic conditions. Admittedly, viewership numbers have dropped a lot as a result of the pandemic and the platforms have made good use of it, but a few films like Dune and a few films by highly acclaimed filmmakers/comedians from our country are bringing audiences back. In the longer term, the “big” films for cinemas and the big screen will continue to exist, even if there is a loss of audience. In short, definitely experience the Dune movie at the cinema. Outside of the movie, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.
Gizem Ertürk (Screenwriter):
Frankly, I tried to get used to the idea that movie theaters would end with our changing daily habits after the pandemic, albeit with regret. Because as someone who goes to see one of the new movies every Friday and follows festivals and press screenings, I have personally noticed that my habits have changed. I started to prefer the convenience of watching movies at home because of price and safety. However, when I saw the movie Dune in the cinema, all my ideas changed. I reviewed how attractive technology is for cinema, and even how it can be a lifesaver for the future of cinemas. Because no matter what, it’s still not possible for us to reach that home theater standard. While the situation may seem hopeless for classic dramas, there is still a chance for blockbusters. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the same if I had watched Dune in the home theater. It sounds like a big hope for the future of IMAX theaters. However, in this case, I think independent productions may not have the chance to have a vision of the future and will be limited to home theaters.
Hande Kara (screen editor):
I don’t think the fact that certain movies have to be watched in theaters will never change. No matter how much technology advances, no matter how comfortable we watch movies at home, the magic of watching movies in the theater is completely different. Yes, home cinema, which has pervaded our lives with the rise of digital platforms, is still an attractive option, but when we consider the distraction of watching movies at home, some movies we can’t give the focus they deserve. I don’t assess this situation solely with the film’s budget, because there are also a lot of independent films that you have to see in the cinema. I will continue to be in the halls for as long as I can.