Biggest opening ever: Jurassic World Box Office

Published: June 15, 2015

Biggest opening ever: Jurassic World Box Office, Critics be darned. “Jurassic World” powered through squishy reviews to post a near-record $204.6 million in estimated weekend sales at the domestic box office, and about $512 million worldwide.

The estimated sales appeared to give that dinosaur thriller, released by Universal Pictures with backing from Legendary Entertainment, the second-best domestic movie opening ever, just behind “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which took in $207.4 million when Walt Disney Studios released it in May 2012.

A slight uptick on Sunday could push “Jurassic World” past “The Avengers” after final weekend sales are tallied, and its worldwide take was also poised to set new performance marks.

Even when adjusted for ticket price inflation, “Jurassic World,” directed by the relatively inexperienced Colin Trevorrow (until now best known for his indie comedy, “Safety Not Guaranteed”), handily outpaced “Jurassic Park.” That film was directed by Steven Spielberg and took in about $50 million in first-weekend sales – or roughly $99 million at current prices – when it opened in 1993, and spawned what is now a four-film series.

Mr. Spielberg is an executive producer of the latest film, which more than one reviewer criticized as lacking his sure touch for fantasy adventure. “You can check your brain at the door and pick it up on your way out,” wrote Richard Roeper, for The Chicago Sun-Times, in what was actually one of the film’s strongest reviews.

The Metacritic website, which tallies reviews, gave “Jurassic World” a middling score of 59 out of 100, well behind “Spy,” at a score of 75. “Spy,” a Melissa McCarthy comedy, ranked a distant second, with about $16 million in domestic sales for 20th Century Fox in its second weekend, and about $60 million since its opening.

But a fresh generation of moviegoers was clearly thrilled by the “Jurassic” story, about reconstituted dinosaurs in a contemporary world, with Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt in lead roles. And those viewers bolstered sales by paying a premium for tickets to 3-D and ultralarge-screen showings from providers like RealD or Imax and proprietary big-format services like Cinemark XD. About 48 percent of the “Jurassic World” domestic sales came from 3-D screens, according to RealD, a major 3-D provider.

The 3-D surge has similarly helped “San Andreas,” which took in about $11 million for Warner Bros. in its third weekend, to place third, according to the Rentrak reporting service. A death-and-destruction earthquake thriller, “San Andreas” has taken in about $119.3 million at the domestic box office since opening.

“Insidious: Chapter 3,” from Universal’s Focus unit, placed fourth for the weekend, with about $7.3 million in sales, and $37.4 million since opening, while “Pitch Perfect 2,” also from Universal, was fifth at the box office, with about $6 million in sales and about $171 million since opening.

The run of strong performers from Universal, which had prior hits in “Furious 7” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” has pushed the studio to the fore in an annual box-office race that had until now been dominated by Disney and Warner Bros.

Over all, the domestic box office is up about 4 percent for the year, to more than $4.8 billion from just under $4.7 billion at this point last year, according to Rentrak.

Biggest opening ever: Jurassic World Box Office

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