×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

What ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s’ Success Means for the Franchise’s Future

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” proved one thing: dinosaurs aren’t going extinct anytime soon.

The latest “Jurassic” installment — led by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard — opened in North America with a monstrously good $150 million. Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, the studio and production company behind the film, began its overseas rollout earlier in June, where the tentpole has already earned $561 million. Though that start trails “Jurassic World’s” record-breaking debut, “Fallen Kingdom” is destined to be one of the year’s biggest box office successes.

Reviewers don’t get the credit for the big weekend. The critical consensus for the film, directed by J. A. Bayona, is so-so. The dinosaur sequel currently holds a 50% critical rating and 62% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. While Spielberg’s original” Jurassic Park” series is synonymous with the modern day blockbuster, most of the negative reviews for “Fallen Kingdom” pointed out that the latest installment didn’t provide anything new.

“Nobody is on the edge of their seat watching ‘Fallen Kingdom,'” Jeff Bock, a box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, said. “That’s what Spielberg brought. [Now], they are happy to watch, but they’re sitting back in their seats. There is no recognizable stamp on this film.”

In his review for Variety, chief film critic Owen Gleiberman wrote, “It must be said that none of these moments produce a hint of the awe, the gargantuan fairy-tale wonder and surprise, that has sustained the ‘Jurassic’ franchise for 25 years.”

The question is, does that matter when the movie is on track to gross a billion dollars? Yes, and no. From a financial standpoint, Universal knocked another one out of the park. Any film that racks up $711 million early in its box office run certainly ranks as a roaring success, especially considering its $170 million budget (not including marketing costs).

On the other hand, “quality does matter” for longevity purposes, says Bock. The third film in the “Jurassic World” trilogy is already in the works and set to hit theaters in June of 2021. Odds are, that film will be another hit. But should Universal want to extend the franchise past its sixth edition, the studio needs to zhuzh things up a bit.

“They are more concerned with the brand instead of upping the ante with their franchise. They seem to keep making them off the assembly line,” Bock said. “In the long run, if we talk about mythology, you start to erode that when you put out a subpar product. Falling back on what’s been done will ultimately doom the franchise.”

“Fallen Kingdom’s” second weekend will reveal the true strength of the “Jurassic” brand. A solid hold would signal that that moviegoers are fully invested in the world of “Jurassic,” regardless of its ability to keep reinventing itself.

“It wasn’t going up against anything,” Bock said. “That played a major part in grossing $150 million and overshooting what estimates were.”

In the meantime, how can Universal continue to keep a 25-year-old franchise fresh?

“That’s the $10 billion question,” Bock said. “I’m not saying Dwayne Johnson has to be in this film, but they need something to amp it up. Maybe the only thing to do is take another 20-year break. Is it time for dinosaurs in space?”

Or maybe, just maybe, perhaps all the franchise needs is a little more screen time for Jeff Goldblum?

More Film

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content