Denis Villeneuve’s Dune 2 disappointment has fans making a great joke

Jessica Cullen
Timothée Chalamet as Paul in Dune 2

After Denis Villeneuve shared his disappointment that Dune 2 was still the highest-grossing movie of 2024, fans are all making the same film-inspired joke.

We’re halfway through 2024, and Villeneuve’s Dune 2 is still the highest-grossing movie of the year. At $711 million dollars, no other new movies have come close to topping the Dune sequel, but this isn’t an achievement in Villeneuve’s eyes.

While attending the 2024 Canadian Screen Awards (where he was receiving the Academy Icon Award), Villeneuve said: “I’m disappointed to still be number one. … I hope soon that there will be other successes at the box office. I hope, sooner or later, that this summer box office will be much better.”

His comments aren’t a reflection on his opinion of Dune 2, which became a smash hit when it arrived in theaters back in March. Rather, it’s a statement on the quality of the box office across the year, with many big pictures failing to make an impact in theaters. Still, his comments are humbling, and they’ve inspired a running joke among fans that call back to one featured in the sci-fi adaptation.

“The Mahdi is too humble to say he is the Mahdi. Even more reason to believe he is!,” one X user wrote. This is a reference to Javier Bardem’s character, Stilgar, who is frequently looking for reasons to believe that Paul Atreides is the Messiah. There’s a moment in the film wherein he says almost the exact quote from the above comment.

“Denis is too humble,” another added, using a picture of Stilgar to illustrate their point. Another added: “As it is written.”

His comments come after a disappointing Memorial Day weekend, which ended up being the worst-performing holiday weekend since 1995, even with Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga and The Garfield Movie poised to bring audiences in.

Other users seem to agree with his sentiment, but also argue that Dune 2 is easily the best movie of 2024 so far. There are still a handful of big movies due to arrive in the coming months, including Deadpool & Wolverine, Wicked, and Horizon: An American Saga. Perhaps Denis will see one of these films overthrow his Arrakis. His Dune.

For more, check out all the best new movies to stream this month. You can also take a look at all the best superhero movies and best Western movies for more genre-based hits.

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