Posted October 20, 2021 • Last updated November 16, 2021

Where can I watch "Dune" in Canada?

We'll explain when and where the sci-fi epic directed by Denis Villeneuve may be available to watch at home in Canada.

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Dune: Part One, the first part of a planned two-part adaptation of the novel by Frank Herbert, featuring an ensemble cast including Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, and Jason Momoa, and directed by acclaimed Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, was released by Warner Bros. Pictures in North American theatres on Friday, October 22, 2021.

In Canada, the film is initially available only in theatres, and as of mid-November should still be playing at locations of major Canadian cinema circuits like Cineplex, Guzzo, Imagine, Landmark, and Magic Lantern / Rainbow.

While the film also had a limited-time streaming release on HBO Max in the United States starting on October 22, this does not apply in Canada. However, it's likely that Canadians will be able to watch Dune at home via premium digital purchase and/or rental within a few months, potentially as soon as early December.

A release on a subscription streaming service in Canada, which we expect would be Crave, will not occur until late March 2022 at the earliest. While there is a Dune movie on Crave as of this writing, it's the 1984 David Lynch film, not the Denis Villeneuve version.

I saw an American ad saying Dune would be on HBO Max, why isn't anything like that available here?

In the U.S., Dune is part of Warner Bros.' "Same Day Premieres" distribution model for late 2020 and 2021 releases which began with Wonder Woman 1984, and continued with films like Godzilla vs. Kong and In the Heights, in which WB theatrical films have had a day-and-date release on sibling streaming service HBO Max, and are then made available for streaming for no extra charge to subscribers on that service for 31 days after release.

However, this streaming release does not apply in Canada, where HBO Max is not available. Even in other parts of the world where HBO Max has launched more recently like Latin America, to our knowledge Warner Bros. is not extending any similar offer.

We have discussed this situation further in the past, like in our post about Wonder Woman 1984, but in short, because HBO Max is part of the same corporate group as Warner Bros., parent company WarnerMedia can move these films around more easily in the U.S., and doing so has helped with the company's long-term goal of growing HBO Max.

But HBO Max is not available in Canada, where key programming rights have been sold to domestic services, mainly to Bell Media's Crave – and WarnerMedia does not have the same kind of direct financial incentive to growing Crave's subscription base.

That said, Dune should be covered by a "pay-1" output deal that sends Warner Bros.' first-run films to Crave several months after they begin playing in theatres. Pre-pandemic, WB films were typically made available to Crave about 8-10 months after theatrical release. But given that this schedule has moved up for a number of films starting with WW84 (which arrived on Crave in late May, about five months after release) and has continued for subsequent Warner Bros. films, there's a strong possibility of similar streaming release timing for this film, which could be as soon as late March 2022. Even so, we can't make any guarantees at this point.

Since late October 2021, Crave has been available in two plans that both include access to the same library of content, including movies: a single-device "mobile" plan that costs $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year when billed annually; and a multi-screen "total" plan that costs $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year. (All prices are before applicable sales taxes.)

Is there any other way I might be able to watch Dune at home in Canada?

For most Warner Bros. films released in late 2020 and early 2021 while many Canadian theatres were closed, the studio decided to release them in Canada simultaneously in the theatres that were open, and as premium video-on-demand (PVOD) rentals on various platforms. However, this practice was abandoned in August, after cinemas across Canada, including major markets like Toronto, had all been allowed to reopen.

Instead, for Warner Bros. films starting with The Suicide Squad, the studio has maintained theatrical exclusivity for less than two months – a much shorter timeframe than was typical prior to the pandemic. For example, Malignant was released in theatres on September 10, but will become available for digital purchase on October 22, just six weeks later, albeit at the premium price point of $29.99.

While we do not know the particulars of Warner Bros.' plans (or of its contracts with theatre chains like Cineplex), we would not be surprised if Dune was to become available to watch at home on a similar timeline; if so, that would mean the movie could be available for digital purchase and/or rental as soon as December 3. Though depending on those contracts, it's possible Warner Bros. may decide (or may be obligated) to keep it in theatres exclusively for longer.

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