Box Office Preview: 'Jurassic World' Set to Bite Off $125M-Plus in U.S. Debut

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

The movie hopes to bring the once-popular franchise back from near-extinction.

The dinosaurs are back, and they're looking more bad-ass than ever.

Jurassic World — opening 22 years after Steven Spielberg's first Jurassic Park stomped into theaters — is tracking to open to $125 million or higher in its three-day North American debut, one of the best showings in recent times. It begins rolling out Thursday night before landing in a total of 4,273 theaters on Friday, the widest release in Universal's history.

Overseas, the tentpole opens in 66 markets, including China. And it's getting the widest-ever day-and-date release in Imax houses, or more than 800 locations. In North America, even a $100 million would be a rousing victory for Universal. And globally, it should open well north of $300 million.

Legendary Pictures co-financed the $150 million tentpole with Universal, with Spielberg executive producing via his Amblin Entertainment and Frank Marshall returning to produce (Patrick Crowley is also a producer). Legendary's Thomas Tull executive produced.

Directed by Colin Trevorrow, the long-gestating fourth installment stars Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson and Omar Sy and Irrfan Khan. B.D. Wong is the only actor from any of the previous films to reprise his role.

Set two decades after the events in Jurassic Park, Jurassic World features a fully operational dinosaur theme park on the island of Isla Nublar. Pratt plays a skilled dinosaur trainer, while Howard plays the operations manager whose niece and nephew come to visit just as a new hybrid dinosaur, Indominus rex, is unleashed.

Trevorrow directed from a script he co-wrote with Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly based on characters created by Michael Crichton.

No rival studio dared open a movie nationwide opposite Jurassic World, although Fox Searchlight's Earl and the Dying Girl, a high-profile specialty film, launches in 14 theaters.