Universal’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” tore into $92.7 million over the holiday weekend, and appeared likely to race past $100 million mark sometime Tuesday — just five days and two hours after its Thursday 10 p.m. release.
Most industry execs were caught off-guard by the record-breaking debut, but that didn’t quell speculation Tuesday about just how high the Steven Spielberg-helmed sequel would go.
Estimates by B.O. veterans generally ranged from $275 million to as high as $350 million.
One rough rule of thumb, multiplying the opening weekend by three, yields a final domestic total of $270 million. Based on drop-offs of 40% per week, on the other hand, the film would easily hit $300 million.
While Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco wouldn’t speculate on an upper limit for the dinosaur thriller, she said, “We’re sure it’s going to do at least $275 million.”
“Lost World” has little to fear over the coming weekend, with only low-profile comedies “Gone Fishin’ ” and ” ‘Til There Was You” on tap.
Buena Vista’s “Con Air” takes off the following weekend, but given its core audience of young males, the action film won’t directly compete with “Lost World,” which appeals to a broad demographic mix.
In fact, while “Con Air” is expected to do solid business, it isn’t inconceivable that the then three-week-old “Lost World” could remain the No. 1 film over the June 6 weekend. It’s around that time that observers expect the film to cross the $200 million threshold.
Even the June 13 release of 20th Century Fox’s actioner “Speed 2: Cruise Control” may not slow “Lost World.” It’s not until Warner Bros.’ “Batman and Robin” is released June 20 that the film has any real competition for family audiences.
Although few observers predict “Lost World” will top “Jurassic Park’s” $357 million domestic take — sequels rarely outgross the movies they’re based on — some believe it could eventually sell more tickets worldwide given the rapid growth of the overseas market.
One distribution exec predicted the pic could earn well over $1 billion, topping “Jurassic Park’s” $913 million global total.
“Lost World” accounted for 61% of the frame’s $148.4 million earned by the top 60 films.
The total was up 12% from last year when Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible” and WB’s “Twister” led the four-day frame to a $133 million haul.
In 1995, the Memorial Day weekend B.O. totaled $115.8 million.