'Jurassic World': Why Jimmy Buffett Performed at the Premiere for Free

Jimmy Buffet Jurassic World Premiere - H 2015
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Jimmy Buffet Jurassic World Premiere - H 2015

The "Margaritaville" singer, who appears in the film, was joined by Chris Pratt onstage at the afterparty.

A version of this story first appeared in the June 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Ahead of Jurassic World's massive debut at the box office, Universal threw a massive Hollywood premiere party, complete with a splashy celebrity guest performance.

To celebrate the release of the dino hit, Jimmy Buffett performed at the June 9 afterparty at the Dolby Ballroom for free as a favor to his longtime friend, producer Frank Marshall. "It was his contribution to Jurassic World," says Marshall, who played guitar during “Margaritaville” while Jurassic World star Chris Pratt took to the stage to sing along. 

Marshall, 68, says the good friends like to “give each other glimpses into the other’s world.” Indeed, Buffett, 68, makes a cameo in the sequel as a bartender at the park’s Margaritaville restaurant (fleeing from danger with margaritas in hand), and he wrote a song titled “The Ever Elusive Future,” which is featured in a scene in the film (and on the film's soundtrack).

The music collab began in 2006 when Marshall turned 60 and Buffett, who was playing Madison Square Garden that night, surprised the producer by telling him he'd be playing "Margaritaville" onstage with him in two hours. "I went on my computer, learned the chords, had a couple of tequilas and went up in front of 15,000 people," recalls Marshall. He's played the iconic anthem with Buffett 20-plus times since.