Thanks to that box office bigfoot, “Jurassic Park,” the national B.O. has crashed through to a new monthly record for June, and also for the first five weeks of the summer season.
The exclusive Daily Variety B.O. reporting survey has U.S. film B.O. in June soaring 20% ahead of last year to a new peak of $ 571.5 million vs. $ 477.5 million. The take also surpasses the old record of $ 562.6 million set in 1989.
And for the first five weeks of summer, the tally is a new high of $ 694.1 million, up 12% from last year’s comparable $ 618.7 million and also just over the old record of $ 687.9 million for 1989.
Significant in breaking 1989 records is the fact that the summer season that year set the all-time season record of $ 2.04 billion, as well as the all-time annual peak of $ 5.03 billion.
The torrid B.O. pace has even pulled cumulative six-month grosses ahead of 1989, to $ 2.25 billion vs. $ 2.21 billion four years ago.
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The seasonally adjusted Variety Box Office Index for June jumped to a new high of 115.6 compared to 91.3 a year ago and to the old 1989 record of 115.1. Since the Index base is 100.0 in the base year 1990, last month’s B.O. level was 15.6% over the average month’s business in the base year.
The success of “Jurassic Park” has propelled distributor Universal Pictures to No. 1 position in cumulative annual B.O. market share for the first time in three years.
Breaking down the record June gross of $ 571.5 million, an estimated 112.3 million tickets were sold at a national composite price of $ 5.09. Comparable data a year ago were $ 477.5 million, 95.7 million and $ 4.99.
Other leading June pix included “Cliffhanger,””Last Action Hero,””Sleepless in Seattle,””Made in America,””Guilty As Sin,””Dave,””Dennis the Menace” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”
The four-week June period this year ran from June 4 to July 1.
Given the record five-week summer B.O. of $ 694.1 million, the question arises as to the realistic prospects of a new summer peak gross. It’s best to wait another few weeks on that score, recalling that just two years ago, the opening weeks of summer 1991 looked strong, yet the business evaporated in late July.
For comparison purposes, last summer’s national gross was $ 1.74 billion, up 5% from $ 1.66 billion in 1991 but down 6% from $ 1.86 billion in 1990 and down 14% from the peak $ 2.04 billion in 1989.