‘Jurassic World’ Eyes Huge $100 Million Plus Opening

Jurassic World Box Office Opening May
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Jurassic World” is shaping up to be a box office monster.

The latest installment in Universal Pictures’ “when dinosaurs attack” franchise doesn’t hit theaters until June 12, but pre-release tracking suggests it will feast on an opening weekend of $100 million or more — an impressive debut for a franchise that hasn’t released a new chapter in more than a decade.

“The trailers are connecting in such a big way,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.

Pre-release ticket sales have been robust since they kicked off on May 15, and Fandango reports that the film is one of its top five best sellers this week.

Time appears to have made the heart grow fonder for Universal and Steven Spielberg’s prehistoric reptiles. Though the first film shattered box office records and the second installment was the third highest grossing film of 1997 (both pics were helmed by Spielberg), ticket sales began to decline by the time “Jurassic Park III” hit theaters in 2001. That film grossed $181 million domestically over its lifetime, the lowest figure for any film in the series. The third sequel has shown a willingness to shake things up. While Spielberg remains an exec producer, Universal jettisoned the original cast and instead brought in indie director Colin Trevorrow (“Safety Not Guaranteed”) and new leading man Chris Pratt, whose star power rose last summer with “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Promotional materials for the tentpole, based on the Michael Crichton novel, have shrewdly played on nostalgia, with trailers prominently featuring shots of the park’s iconic jungle gates and a piano version of John Williams score, while also introducing new dinosaurs such as the hybrid creature Indominus rex. Posters have included Pratt flanked by velociraptors and an arresting image of an aquatic reptile called a Mosasaurus about to chow down on a shark.

Of course, bringing a herd of dinosaurs to life isn’t cheap and “Jurassic World” carries a hefty $150 million pricetag, so it will need to be a global hit in order for Universal to recoup its investment.

The likely success of “Jurassic World” continues what is shaping up to be one of Universal’s best years in recent memory. The studio is in second place behind Disney in terms of market share and has fielded a number of major successes such as “Furious 7,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and “Pitch Perfect 2,” along with a few misfires such as “Blackhat” and “Seventh Son.” The rest of the summer looks equally promising. The studio’s slate includes “Minions,” a spin-off from the “Despicable Me” series; “Ted 2”; and the rap drama “Straight Outta Compton.”

“This is a big, franchise-driven year for them,” said Eric Handler, an analyst with MKM Partners. “You look at the contribution from ‘Furious 7’ and that’s going to make you forget about ‘Seventh Son.'”

If “Jurassic World” surpasses $100 million in its opening weekend, it will be the third film of the year to hit that mark, behind “Furious 7” and Disney’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” In contrast, only two film last year, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” had openings of more than $100 million.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misreported the number of 2014 releases with $100 million openings.

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  1. ryan says:

    Jurassic park 3 was so terrible who and why would anyone want to watch this is beyond me

  2. I predict a good opening and a fast drop-off. Watching the trailer in 3d a few weeks back I was very surprised at how flat the picture looked, with shot after shot resembling stacked cardboard cutouts – I almost expected the screen to zoom out to a VFX tutorial while someone asserted that ‘what we need are REAL dinosaurs, sir!’ I’m not a VFX guy myself, nor do I have anything against the franchise – rather I was startled at how lame it looked from the opening shot.

    The audience (mostly 20-35 couples at the new Avengers film) may have skewed older than the target demographic, but they seemed distinctly underwhelmed, though perhaps that was just the result of trailer saturation. I’m sure it will perform OK but think it may become a victim of its own hype.

  3. picasa login says:

    Well, as a writer, Mr. Brent Lang should have known that Universal did not lose any money on Balckhat and Seventh Son. So it’s not a misfire from Universal but from Legendary.

  4. IT 2 IT says:

    Another theme park ride
    in the decades STALE
    Hollywood franchise slum.

    STEP AROUND the DEAD DINOSAUR!

    BLLLEH

    • oscarstainton says:

      Remember the last time we had a serious, well-made, epic dinosaur film? And remember the last time we had a serious, well-made superhero movie? If I had a dead dinosaur right now, I’d shove you beneath it.

  5. James says:

    Well, as a writer, Mr. Brent Lang should have known that Universal did not lose any money on Balckhat and Seventh Son. So it’s not a misfire from Universal but from Legendary. Legendary Pictures moved the movies from Warner Bros. and Universal only distributes them. Legendary is responsible for all the write-downs from this pictures. Of course, Universal did not even care for the failures of those movies.

  6. C.M. Brandt says:

    Universal was strictly a ‘rent-a-distributor’ for Blackhat and Seventh Son – Legendary covered the entire marketing spend.

  7. Jeff Foster says:

    Well, with all the hype here, I am not sure how it doesn’t blow out opening weekend numbers. Good marketing is key.

  8. asianeatables says:

    If? The question is if it will open with more than $150 million. 100% it will open with over $100 million. No way it can’t.

  9. jbove says:

    Hunger Games Mockingjay pt1 opened over $100M as well. $121.89M.

  10. Chris says:

    Transformers was not the only film last year to open over $100 million. You’re forgetting Mockingjay Part 1, unless you meant only film over the summer to open over $100 million

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