In a “close-but-no-cigar,” weekend sprint in America, Jurassic World found itself sandwiched between two Avengers movies. With a whopping $204.596 million opening weekend in America, it is the second-best Fri-Sun debut of all time, between Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191m) and The Avengers ($207m). Oh, and it also earned $511.8 million worldwide, easily eclipsing the $494m debut of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II to score the biggest worldwide debut of all time, so I guess that makes everything better.
But first the boilerplate stuff: Jurassic World comes courtesy of Universal Pictures/Comcast Corp. and Legendary Pictures. Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are the producers, with Steven Spielberg on board as an executive producer. It cost $150 million to make and is opening in most of the world this weekend. It stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, BD Wong, Irrfan Khan, and Vincent D’Onofrio among others and is directed by Colin Trevorrow who was indirectly recommended for the job by Brad Bird after his breakout indie Safety Not Guaranteed. It has thus far received relatively solid reviews and has benefited from an ad campaign that both played up generational nostalgia and sold the film as a rip-roaring dinosaur thriller in its own right, with the added-value element of having Chris Pratt, hot off of The LEGO Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy as a top-billed star.
That weekend number includes an $82.8 million Friday number, which includes $18.5 million worth of Thursday previews. As noted yesterday, that $82.6 million Friday minus those $18.5m worth of Thursday shows leaves Jurassic World with a pure Friday gross of $64.1m. That gives Jurassic World the biggest pure Friday/opening day total ever, ahead of Furious 7 ($51.6m), Iron Man 3 ($53.25m), Avengers 2 ($56.86m), and The Avengers ($62.7m). The film’s $69.7m Saturday is the biggest ever just ahead of The Avengers‘s $69.5m Saturday. The estimated $52.992m Sunday is second best against The Avengers‘s $57m Sunday. Between you and me, the fact that it did a better Friday and a better Saturday than The Avengers means that Universal may end up with a record after all when the finals are announced on Monday afternoon. I’m sure they are frantically looking for that extra $3m in their couches and cars as we speak. Even if they come up short, they can probably find just enough to fund a Blumhouse horror movie.
What that means is that the film wasn’t a frontloaded fans-only spectacle, but rather something of a general audience mega-blockbuster, which I’m sure is a shock to exactly none of you. Jurassic World is precisely the kind of general audiences blockbuster that is going to get tons of casual moviegoers showing up this weekend. It did gangbusters with the Saturday/Sunday kid-powered matinee crowd. Universal got the kids who love dinosaurs, kids of all ages who have discovered the first three films on DVD or VOD over the years, and then adults who grew up with the franchise and consider Jurassic Park to be akin to their Star Wars or Batman. The 2.45x weekend multiplier isn’t spectacular, but it is solid in light of the massive start to the weekend. Oh, and it played 48% 3D while scoring a record for IMAX with a $20.6m haul on 363 screens, besting the opening weekend of The Dark Knight Rises and making up 10% of the weekend haul. Along with the aforementioned $511m worldwide bow, $23.5m of that came from overseas IMAX, including $11m in China, besting the previous overseas IMAX opening record ($16.9m for Transformers: Age of Extinction).Oh, and it earned $100m in China alone this weekend.
We don’t yet know if Chris Pratt is an actual movie star or merely a charismatic figure who has had the good fortune to get lead roles in a few preordained blockbusters, which ironically is where Jeff Goldblum found himself after Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and The Lost World. But if it turns out that Pratt really was a draw, even as an added value element, then it should be noted that this would be the first Jurassic Park movie actually to have something of a movie star at its center. Regardless of his not-great performance (he’s been better elsewhere), this is going to further his case for being cast in every would-be franchise that he is willing to agree to. Between Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Magnificant Seven, Pratt is set for franchise life even if he doesn’t end up playing Indiana Jones. Obviously this is well beyond what the expectations were heading into the weekend. But surprisingly good reviews, a mostly gaff-free press tour, and a lack of significant competition left the field ripe for the picking.
As you hopefully know, the first Jurassic Park was the first film to top $50 million in its opening weekend (including Thursday previews) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park earned a stunning $74m during the Fri-Sun portion of its Fri-Mon Memorial Day sprint in 1997. So like The Dark Knight and The Phantom Menace, this was a case of a popular character or franchise returning to the top of the box office charts. In terms of final domestic totals, it’s all speculation at this point. The film is getting solid word of mouth from the general audiences, and there is a pretty wide open playing field for awhile. Pixar’s Inside Out will do its usual Pixar $60-$70m debut (but might be the first Pixar film not to open at number one, for what that’s worth), and Terminator Genisys is a major wildcard. Minions will make a bloody fortune as well on July 10th, and then the next weekend the first real competition drops in the form of Ant-Man, which leads to Pixels, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and The Fantastic Four stretching into early August.
The film played 61% over 25 years old and 52% male. It is not unreasonable to suppose that Jurassic World will pass Avengers: Age of Ultron ($445m today and with around $10m left in the tank) as the summer’s top grosser and may (emphasis on “may”) challenge Furious 7 ($1.51b) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.352b with Japan still to go) for the worldwide crown until Star Wars: The Force Awakens rolls into town. Heck, if it does a mere 2.19x weekend multiplier in America (think Godzilla or Amazing Spider-Man 2) it still gets to $448m. If it plays like Man of Steel (2.27x off a $128m debut on this same weekend two years ago), it gets to $465m. If it does a 2.35x (Avengers 2, Iron Man 3), it gets to $481m. As you can see, anything even remotely leggy sends this thing towards the $500m domestic mark. Yes yes, I know, “Inflation!,” “3D bump!,” etc. We’ll discuss that once we have a better idea of where this fourth dino adventure is headed on the all-time charts. In terms of worldwide, we may have a new “biggest movie not directed by James Cameron” champion on our hands.
I’m not sure how much we should celebrate the whole “ Hollywood gives a relative novice the keys to a mega franchise and then snags near-record weekend off of generational nostalgia of said franchise,” but that’s a conversation for another time. But I don’t think we have much of a leg to stand on in terms of the whole “Stop remaking and rebooting every remotely successful franchise!” thing, even if I will argue that Jurassic World represents a unique situation in terms of old-school franchises. No, I don’t think Independence Day 2 is going to threaten this opening next year, although I reserve the right to pretend I never said that 12 months and two weeks from now.
source: forbes.com by Scott Mendelson