“Jurassic World” and its fearsome dinosaurs laid waste to records, rivals, analysts’ projections and everything else in its path with an electrifying $204.5 million rampage at the North American box office this weekend.
Universal Pictures’ sequel to Steven Spielberg‘s 1993 sci-fi classic left no doubt it was the Indominus Rex of the summer. The Colin Trevorrow-directed 3D dinosaur epic starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard posted the second-best
The spectacular three-day rollout by “Jurassic World” — more than $75 million above analysts’ projections — left the record for a June opening in rubble, topping the $116 million of 2013’s “Man of Steel” by nearly $90 million. It is the best in Universal’s history and bigger than the three previous “Jurassic” films combined.
With rival studios steering clear — there were no other wide openers — “Jurassic World” totally dominated. Last weekend’s leader “Spy” was a very distant second with a solid $16 million, but that still left Fox’s Melissa McCarthy comedy nearly $190 million behind “Jurassic World.” The dinosaur epic’s stunning haul was $150 million more than the grosses of the nine other top ten movies combined.
The dino-mite debut of “Jurassic World,” which Spielberg executive produced and Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley produced. Also executive producing were Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni of Legendary Pictures, which co-financed the $150 million sequel.
The film builds on a blockbuster year for Universal. The studio now has four of 2015’s top ten movies: “Furious 7,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Jurassic World.”
The spectacular opening was in part the result of the dinosaur epic hitting the sweet spot in terms of its audience, which was 39 percent under the age of 25 and 61 percent over, by drawing a mix of new fans and those who saw the original film..
“That shows that the excitement is based on both interest in the new movie, but also a nostalgia factor that came into play for older moviegoers who recall the fun of the original,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Rentrak’s media analyst.
Opening-night audiences, which were 52 percent male, gave it an “A” CinemaScore, even better than the critics, who have it at 73 percent positive on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
The special effects-laden sci-fi sequel was a natural for giant screens, and it shattered records for IMAX, which drew $20.6 million, and Premium Large Format theaters, which brought in $16.2 million. Screens equipped with 3D provided $71 million, or 48 percent of the grosses, and set a record for RealD as well.
“I think the pedigree of the original film helped build the anticipation with its fans and a whole new generation as well, and when they realized it was something special, they wanted to experience it in the best possible way,” said Anthony Marcoly, president of worldwide cinema for RealD.
The huge weekend for “Jurassic World” will reverse a skid at the overall box office, which has been down from last year for the past three weekends. This weekend was 46 percent ahead of last year’s comparable frame, when “22 Jump Street” led with a $57 million debut. The overall year is running just ahead of 2014, but “Jurassic World” will broaden that lead.
At this point, the 2015 box office is running about four percent behind 2012, which was the biggest year domestically ever with $10.8 billion. Analysts believe that 2015 will top that and exceed $11 billion, paced by super sequels like “Jurassic World,” “Furious 7” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” as well as the upcoming James Bond film “Spectre,” the finale to “The Hunger Games” franchise and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” among others.