Without dropping spoilers, the clip shows new images of story’s legendary sandworms and the character Paul Atreides’ visions, among other things.
The trailer is slightly more explanatory and less action-oriented. Text inserted into the clip features lines in Chinese that roughly translate to: “From the depths of hopelessness a legend is born. Don’t fear the future.”
“Dune” has made a particular effort to court viewers in the world’s largest film market, delivering its first press conference virtually to Chinese media ahead even of its post-premiere presser at Venice earlier this month.
With its large $165 million budget, it will need to see strong global sales to turn a profit. So far, it has mined $35.8 million out of 24 overseas markets as of Sunday, its first weekend in theaters.
While the China release will come after the film’s outing in Hong Kong and Taiwan, it will be day-and-date with the U.S. on Oct. 22. It will be contending with holdover patriotic Chinese blockbusters set to release over the Oct. 1 National Day holiday, foremost among them the war film “The Battle at Changjin Lake,” co-directed by Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark and Dante Lam.
Chinese viewers have greater enthusiasm for sci-fi in the wake of the breakout box office success of 2019 local blockbuster “The Wandering Earth,” an adaptation of a Liu Cixin novella that became China’s fourth highest grossing film of all time with sales of $691 million.
But Villeneuve’s carefully crafted tales have previously gone a bit over the head of many Chinese viewers.
The country was the top overseas territory for both “Arrival” and “Blade Runner 2049,” which grossed $15.9 million and $11.7 million there, respectively — but clearly the figures pale in comparison to homegrown “Wandering Earth,” making up less than 0.02% of the latter’s takings.
Watch the exclusive Chinese trailer below.