“Jurassic World” now holds the record for the biggest opening in movie history.
After the final numbers were tallied, the dinosaur thriller inched past “Marvel’s the Avengers” to become top dog on the all-time list, with a U.S. debut of $208.8 million. The superhero blockbuster was the previous record holder with a $207.4 million bow. It also topped “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” and its $314 million opening to set a new benchmark for an overseas launch with $315.6 million.
Universal, the studio behind the film, initially estimated that “Jurassic World” would open to $204.6 million domestically, but the blockbuster had a stronger than anticipated Sunday.
It had some stiff competition for audience attention on Sunday night — both Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the season finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” generated a great deal of buzz that could have cut into ticket sales. Box office analysts say that moviegoers may have opted to check out the film on Sunday after hearing about its monster opening in order to be part of the conversation.
“It inspires people to go to the movie theater,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “Everybody gets caught up in it.”
Legendary co-financed the sequel, which cost $150 million to produce. Colin Trevorrow directed “Jurassic World,” with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard playing the leads.
Universal debuted the film in 4,274 theaters, the widest release in studio history. Heading into the weekend most analysts predicted that “Jurassic World” would kick off with between $125 million and $135 million. BoxOffice.com Chief Analyst Phil Contrino said that “Jurassic World’s” over-performance is analogous the recent monster openings of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “American Sniper” that dwarfed estimates on the strength of audiences’ reactions.
“This was off the charts big in terms of how it broke out and became must see really fast,” said Contrino. “This is a movie that benefited from a new era of Thursday evening shows, which helped spread a very enthusiastic word of mouth.”
Globally, “Jurassic World” became the first movie to cross $500 million in a single weekend. It debuted to a massive $100 million in China and opened in first place in all 66 international territories where the film was released. Based on that performance, Contrino said the film will cross the $1 billion mark “without even blinking.”
Universal crossed the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office, beating Paramount’s record achieved on June 22, 2008. It has also gone past $3 billion worldwide, passing Fox’s record of $3 billion on June 30, 2010.
UPDATE, 10:15 a.m. PDT