‘Dune: Part Two’ Gives Sci-Fi-Obsessed Silicon Valley a Reason to Party

In a top-floor atrium in downtown San Francisco on Thursday evening, tech workers from Google, Slack, X and Mozilla mingled next to a pair of cardboard cutouts of Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya.

Dustin Moskovitz, a Facebook founder, chatted as others sipped from cannily named cocktails like the Fremen Mirage (gin, coconut Campari, sweet vermouth) and the Arrakis Palms (vanilla pear purée, gin, Fever-Tree tonic). Tim O’Reilly, a tech industry veteran, dropped by. Alex Stamos, the former head of security at Facebook, was also spotted.

“Do you think they’ll let me take home one of the freaky sandworm popcorn buckets?” someone in the crowd tittered. The suggestively designed buckets had become a sensation across social media.

The techies were all there to celebrate Silicon Valley’s newest obsession: “Dune: Part 2,” the latest movie adapted from the Frank Herbert-authored science-fiction saga, which helped inspire many of them to become interested in technology. The film, which follows the 2021 installment “Dune,” sold an estimated $81.5 million in tickets in the United States and Canada over the weekend, the biggest opening for a Hollywood film since “Barbie.”

The invitation-only private screening at the IMAX theater in downtown San Francisco was hosted by two former tech executives turned podcasters of “Escape Hatch,” a weekly show focused on sci-fi and fantasy films. And it was not the only game in town.

Across Silicon Valley — from venture capital firms to tech executive circles — people had booked their own private screenings of the movie, directed by Denis Villeneuve. On Thursday, the venture firm 50 Years invited founders, friends and investors to “come fuel your imagination with stellar science fiction” in a theater takeover.

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