Warner Bros. and Dune Will ‘Overbook’ IMAX Theaters… to Watch a Trailer

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides stares into the distance dressed all in black in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.
Photo: Warner Bros.

IMAX and Gofobo have announced a special fan screening, promising a first-come, first-served “full house” event. It’s for the world premiere of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune—not the movie, mind you, but its newest trailer. Guess the pandemic’s over now?

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The official Dune website is advertising a special two-day theatrical event later this month at IMAX theaters across the United States and around the world. It’s for the premiere of the film’s latest trailer, coming 10 months after the first trailer introduced audiences to all the flowing spice and Oscar Isaac beard we could handle. According to the event description, “IMAX Presents: An Exclusive Look at Dune” will showcase never-before-seen footage, music from the film, and other surprises before finally unveiling the latest Dune trailer. The ticket also comes with the following disclaimer: “Arrive early! Seating is first-come, first-served, except for members of the reviewing press. This ticket does not guarantee you a seat! Theatre is overbooked to ensure a full house. Theatre is not responsible for overbooking. No admittance once event has begun.”

Note: nothing in that disclaimer about covid-19. Presumably, the rules will fall on individual theaters.

We’ve slowly seen movie theaters returning to business as usual as more people (though not nearly enough) have been vaccinated against covid-19. According to CinemaSafe, every state (except Hawaii and Puerto Rico) has returned to 100% capacity at movie theaters—though some chains, like the Alamo Drafthouse, are still helping customers remain socially distant. This all has resulted in increased movie ticket sales, with Black Widow raking in an impressive $80 million opening weekend. But with covid-19 cases starting to climb once again across the country—partially thanks to the delta variant, which is more contagious than previous iterations of the coronavirus—asking people to line up at an indoor movie theater in hopes of then nabbing a seat in a crowded theater… for a trailer? Just because things are opening back up doesn’t mean we should accept carelessness.

The Dune screenings are being held on July 21 and 22 at 7 p.m., organized by Gofobo, a movie promotions company. No word how Warner Bros. is involved, or whether the studio signed off on this event but presumably it would have had to in some capacity. It’s also unclear when the trailer will be released online to the public. We’ve reached out to Warner Bros. and Gofobo for comment.


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