Box Office: 'Jurassic World' Unstoppable Friday for Record $181M-$200M Debut
The long-awaited fourth installment rescues the dinosaur franchise from near-extinction and is on course to score the No. 2 or No. 3 biggest weekend of all time in North America.
There's nothing prehistoric about Universal's Jurassic World.
Jurassic World devoured everything in its path at the Friday box office for a projected North American opening of $181 million-$200 million — either the second or third biggest weekend of all time (Univeral's estimate is on the lower end).
The $150 million tentpole, rescuing the dinosaur franchise from near-extinction and earning an A CinemaScore, grew bigger and bigger on Friday, grossing $82.9 million to nab the third biggest opening day in history. That included $18.5 million from Thursday evening previews, the top late-night showing ever for Universal after Furious 7 ($15.8 million).
Overseas, the dinosaurs are also bigger-than-life as they stomp into a total of 66 markets, including China. Jurassic World has grossed $130 million in its first three days offshore, including $50 million in China, for an early global total of $213 million through Friday. At this clip, it could earn well north $400 million through Sunday, a T. Rex-like showing.
Domestically, The Avengers ($207.4 million) boats the top three-day opening of all time, followed by Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3 million). Jurassic World is assured of at least placing No. 3, bumping Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million) to No. 4. It also marks the biggest opening of all time for the month of June, as well as Universal's top showing ever, coming in ahead of global blockbuster Furious 7 ($147.2 million).
Playing in 4,273 theaters domestically and opening 22 years after Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park hit theaters, the movie is getting the widest release ever for a Universal title and is another major victory for the studio, which will overtake Disney and Warner Bros. in terms of domestic marketshare by weekend's end, with its movies earning more than $1 billion so far this year.
In the film, Chris Pratt stars as a dinosaur trainer at the massive Jurassic World park. But when a genetically engineered dinosaur gets loose in the park, he and park manager (Bryce Dallas Howard) are tasked with stopping the animal before it kills thousands of park visitors. Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson also star.
Colin Trevorrow directed the action-adventure movie -- which is the weekend's only new wide release -- based on characters created by Michael Crichton.
Legendary co-financed the film, with Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment co-producing.
According to early exits polls conducted by industry leader Rentrak, Jurassic World is appealing to both younger moviegoers and older consumers drawn in by the nostalgia factor, good news for the filmmakers. And the definite recommend score is 73 percent.
"The definite recommend is among the highest we have measured across all audience demographics," said Rentrak box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
No other studio dared open a movie nationwide opposite Jurassic World, although making a high-profile entry at the specialty box office is Me Earl and the Dying Girl, which Fox Searchlight is launching in 15 theaters in select markets. The indie movie is pacing to gross $235,000 for the weekend for a screen average of $15,666.
12:50 p.m June 12 Updated with weekend projections.
4:50 p.m June 12 Updated with revised weekend projections.
10:26 p.m. June 12 Updated with revised weekend projections.
6:43 a.m. June 13 Updated with official Friday numbers.