‘Jurassic World’ Poised to Overtake ‘The Avengers’ for Best Box-Office Debut

There’s a good chance that Universal’s sci-fi sequel will claim the mark when final figures arrive on Monday

There’s a very real chance that on Sunday, “Jurassic World” will overtake the record set by Marvel’s “The Avengers” in 2012 for the best box-office opening in history.

We won’t know until final figures come in on Monday, but Universal Pictures estimated that “Jurassic World” would take in $204.5 million between Friday’s opening and Sunday night. That’s roughly $3 million behind Disney’s superhero saga, which set the standard with a $207.4 million debut in May of 2012.

But that number is flexible, since Universal doesn’t really know how Sunday will play out. The studio has projected a $52.3 million Sunday, after the sci-fi sequel took in $82.5 million on Friday, $18.5 million in Thursday early shows and $69.7 million on Saturday.

“This is playing very much like a family movie,” said Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations, “and that could mean a bigger turnout for ‘Jurassic’ than anticipated.”

At least two rival studios’ estimates for the weekend had “Jurassic World” higher than “The Avengers” on Sunday morning, so it wouldn’t be a shock. And it’s easy to understand why Universal would be conservative in its estimates and wait until Monday to claim the record, rather than claim it early.

Sunday night’s nationally televised Game 5 of the NBA Finals could cut into the turnout for “Jurassic World,” which drew a mainly-male audience, but it’s likely Universal factored that into its estimate. The game starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

“I think it comes down to how many people are motivated to get off the couch by the buzz generated by the huge ‘Jurassic World’ opening vs. how many want to watch the game,” said Bock.

Given the record-breaking weekend for “Jurassic World,” in which it topped pre-release projections by a whopping $75 million, it’s hard to bet against it.