dune popcorn bucket

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’10/10 I love this bucket’: A brief history of the ‘Dune: Part Two’ popcorn bucket memes

Even Josh Brolin—who is in both of the 'Dune' films—said, 'I’m not sticking my hand in there. I’m good, I’ll starve.'


Allie Hayes

Pop Culture

Posted on Feb 26, 2024   Updated on Apr 11, 2024, 9:01 am CDT

The Dune 2 popcorn bucket may just be the most talked-about phenomenon resulting from the release of the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2021 mega-hit adaptation Dune, Dune: Part Two, which hit theaters Friday, March 1st.

The press tour surrounding the film has been in the news quite a bit recently thanks to Zendaya’s incredible wardrobe and Josh Brolin’s poetry-related on-set shenanigans, but one other piece of marketing has definitely stood out to fans in what is easily the most hilarious way possible: I’m, of course, referring to the questionable Dune-inspired popcorn bucket.

Now, it is not by any means out of the ordinary for movie theater chains and/or those in charge of a film’s marketing to create tie-in products for sale. Many huge releases get collectible cups or popcorn buckets—so why is, of all things, the Dune popcorn bucket going viral?

For those of us who aren’t chronically online, allow me to recap for you: the popcorn buckets—which were revealed after an image of the item leaked in late January by a movie theater employee—were designed to look like one of those big ol’ worms from the film (I am aware they’re called “Shai-Hulud,” but to me they’ll always be “big ol’ worms”). 

A clever, well-thought out idea, right? Sure! However…the final product, as shared online, ended up looking like this:

Yes, I’m serious. Needless to say, from the moment the photo of the popcorn bucket was posted online, fans of the film (and fans of ridiculous things in general alike) flocked to X and TikTok to share absolutely every not-so-appropriate joke they could come up with.

Dune part 2 popcorn bucket memes:


Dune 2 Popcorn Buckets

♬ original sound – 3C Films

The Dune popcorn bucket even went so viral, Saturday Night Live did an entire skit around it starring Ayo Edebiri:

Inappropriate-but-hilarious jokes aside, the overall design of the popcorn bucket itself seems wildly impractical? Like, I understand what y’all were going for, but even so. To further prove this point, here’s just a couple of examples of X users earnestly attempting to use it as designed:

Anyway, emotions have gotten so intense around this darn thing that those involved in the actual film have even started weighing in on its unholy existence.

For one, actor Josh Brolin said he’d rather “starve” than eat out of it:

While Zendaya and Florence Pugh both pointed out the innate design flaws of purposely creating a barrier between your hand and your popcorn. Though, Dave Batista was all for its sheer weirdness, jokingly saying he felt “the exact opposite” of Josh Brolin:

And, most recently, both the film’s director, Denis Villeneuve, and the film’s star, Timothée Chalamett, weighed in on the whole thing while speaking with The New York Times. When asked about the viral frenzy, Denis stayed somewhat diplomatic, saying, “I don’t want to make stupid jokes right now that I will regret tomorrow morning, but I will say this: when I saw it, I went, ‘Hoooooly smokes. What the fuck!?’ At the same time, it created a lot of fun online. So maybe it’s positive? It’s some kind of [an] impressive design.

While Timothee outright questioned the feelings of whoever designed it, adding, “I can’t tell if someone is at home right now going, ‘My design worked perfectly and everyone’s talking about it!’ Or if someone’s brutally offended by the response.”

So, uh…yeah! I can’t unsee this and now you can’t either! I’m sorry (or, depending on who you are, you’re welcome)!

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*First Published: Feb 26, 2024, 5:36 pm CST