“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” stomped to $15.3 million on Thursday night in North American preview showings.
The Universal-Amblin Entertainment sequel is expected to debut between $130 million to $140 million when it opens on Friday at 4,475 domestic sites.
The fifth film in the “Jurassic” franchise, which carries a production budget of $170 million, began its overseas rollout two weeks ago and has already pocketed $450 million from 51 international markets, led by $170 million in China. Reviews have been mixed for “Fallen Kingdom,” which currently holds a 53% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Jurassic World” launched with $18.5 million — the 34th-largest preview gross of all time — in Thursday night screenings three years ago. Only 48 films have topped the $10 million-mark in Thursday previews, led by 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with $57 million.
Set four years after the events of “Jurassic World,” “Fallen Kingdom” follows Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s characters as they attempt to save the remaining dinosaurs on Isla Nublar before a volcanic eruption. J.A. Bayona directed from a script by “Jurassic World” helmer Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. Trevorrow also executive produced alongside Steven Spielberg.
“Jurassic World” bowed in 2015 with a staggering $208.8 million domestic opening weekend and became the first movie to generate over $500 million worldwide in a single frame. It went on to earn $1.7 billion worldwide, including $652 million in North America. It is still the sixth-highest grossing film ever at the domestic box office.
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s” earning potential may be held down by the sophomore weekend of Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” which is pegged to earn another $75 million to $90 million in North America. The animated comedy sequel overperformed last weekend with $183 million, the eighth-best domestic debut of all time. In its first six days, “Incredibles 2” had grossed $253 million in North America.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, noted that the overall 2018 domestic box office is up by 5.9%, to $5.63 billion, as of June 20.
“Another solid June weekend is on tap with the top two films poised to earn a combined $200 million-plus as ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,’ the much-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s mega-hit reboot ‘Jurassic World,’ is set for a T-Rex-sized debut while ‘Incredibles 2,’ after a record-breaking opening weekend, will use its superpowers to ensure an impressive sophomore session as the year-to-date advantage over last year continues to grow and the summer season of 2018 continues to add revenue to the bottom line,” he said.