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Obliterating all expectations, Universal’s Jurassic World roared to a record $208.8 million debut in North America, the biggest of all time and rescuing the action-adventure franchise from the brink of extinction 22 years after Steven Spielberg‘s Jurassic Park first hit theaters.
Globally, Jurassic World also posted the biggest weekend debut of all time with $524 million.
The $150 million tentpole, bestowed with an A CinemaScore, proves that dinosaurs are every bit as potent as superheroes: Jurassic World bests the $207.4 million launch of The Avengers in May 2012. On Sunday, Jurassic World‘s estimated weekend was $204.6 million, but the number was revised upwards when traffic was bigger than expected for the day, even with competition from the NBA championship game.
Globally, the movie posted the largest weekend bow in history, eclipsing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ($483.2 million) and becoming the first film to ever cross $500 million in one weekend, thanks to an international haul of $315.3 million from 66 markets, likewise the biggest of all time and beating Deathly Hallows 2 ($314 million).
“This is absolutely a four-quadrant movie and is working on so many levels. The release date was awesome, and everybody stayed off of our date,” said Universal domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou.
So when might a Jurassic World sequel be announced? “We’re saying if the filmmakers agree, we’d love to have another movie. But right now we are concentrating on this movie,” Carpou continued.
Internationally, China led overseas with $100.8 million, followed by the U.K. and Ireland ($29.6 million), Mexico ($16.2 million), South Korea ($14.4 million), France ($12.5 million), Australia ($12.1 million), Germany ($11 million) and Russia ($9.4 million).
The performance of the long-awaited fourth installment no doubt furthers Chris Pratt‘s star power a year after Guardians of the Galaxy propelled him to leading man status (Pratt shares top billing in Jurassic World with Bryce Dallas Howard).
Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested Jurassic World would open to an impressive $125 million-plus domestically, but it quickly transformed into a T. rex on steroids, thanks to older moviegoers seduced by the nostalgia factor and a massive turnout among younger moviegoers who grew up watching the first three movies on television and going to Universal theme parks.
According to Rentrak, 58 percent of ticket buyers were males, while 50 percent of the overall audience was under the age of 25, a prized demo that has become increasingly AWOL at the multiplex, particularly younger males.
Jurassic World is another major victory for Universal Pictures chairwoman Donna Langley and her team, who shepherded recent hits Furious 7, Fifty Shades of Grey and Pitch Perfect 2. Over the weekend, the studio sped past Warner Bros. and Disney to claim No. 1 in domestic market share for the year with more than $1 billion in ticket sales.
Playing in 4,273 theaters, Jurassic World received the widest North American release in the studio’s history. And it did huge business in 3D houses, which contributed roughly 48 percent of all domestic revenue, a strong showing considering 3D has been on the decline (RealD is the dominant provider of 3D systems in the U.S.) Moviegoers feasted on the film in Imax locations, which ponied up a record $44.1 million globally and $20.6 million domestically. Premium large format screens also saw record traffic, turning in a sizable $16.2 million.
Set two decades after the events in Jurassic Park, the movie stars Pratt as a dinosaur trainer at the massive Jurassic World park. But when a genetically engineered dinosaur named Indominus Rex gets loose, he and park manager (Howard), whose two young nephews have come to visit, 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 film based on characters created by Michael Crichton. Legendary co-financed the film, with Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment co-producing.
No other studio dared open a movie nationwide opposite Jurassic World, although making a high-profile entry at the specialty box office was Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which Fox Searchlight launched in 15 theaters in select markets. The Sundance Film Festival favorite grossed $210,000 for the weekend for a screen average of $14,000. Many think even Earl ended up being impacted by Jurassic World.
Also at the specialty box office, Brian Wilson musical biopic Love & Mercy enjoyed a strong second weekend as it expanded into a total of 573 theaters, moving up to No. 10 with $1.7 million and an estimated domestic total of $4.7 million for Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate.
Elsewhere in the top 10, Melissa McCarthy‘s action-comedy Spy held relatively well despite Jurassic World, falling 45 percent to $16 million for a 10-day domestic total of $56.9 million for Fox and director Paul Feig.
Other movies saw steep drops, including Entourage, which tumbled 58 percent in its second weekend to $4.3 million, putting its North American total at $25.9 million.
8:45, June 14 Updated with global numbers.
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