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Box Office: ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Taking on High-Flying ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ With Projected $125 Million Debut

JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION, (aka JURASSIC WORLD
©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

This weekend at the box office, it’s the battle of the blockbusters.

There’s no question that “Jurassic World Dominion” will stomp to the top of box office charts when the dinosaur tentpole opens in theaters on Friday. But reigning champion “Top Gun: Maverick,” which shows no sign of slowing down, won’t be relinquishing its box office crown without a fight. Now in its third weekend of release, Tom Cruise’s all-American action epic is expected to stay strong even with “Dominion” looking to pack a punch at multiplexes.

“Jurassic World Dominion,” the sixth chapter in Universal’s prehistoric adventure franchise, is hoping to bring in at least $125 million from North American 4,600 theaters in its initial bow. It’ll be a big box office weekend across the board. After “Top Gun: Maverick” raked in a better-than-expected $90 million in its second weekend, the movie could add another $45 million to $55 million between Friday and Sunday.

For “Dominion,” the big-budget tentpole certainly has some Triceratops-sized footprints to fill at the domestic box office. “Jurassic World,” which rebooted the popular “Jurassic Park” trilogy in 2015, opened to a gargantuan $208 million and ended its theatrical run with $653 million in North America and $1.6 billion globally. Its sequel, 2018’s “Fallen Kingdom,” debuted to a softer-but-still-spectacular $150 million and tapped out with $417 million domestically and $1.3 billion worldwide. Collectively, the five movies have generated more than $5 billion at the global box office. In other words, “Jurassic” has become an apex predator at the box office.

Already, “Dominion” is off to a roaring start at the international box office, earning $55.7 million from 15 major markets including Mexico, Korea, Brazil and Italy. The movie will widen its footprint throughout June in France, Germany, Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, China and Japan.

“Jurassic World Dominion” is expected to be one of the summer’s highest-grossing tentpoles, which will help Universal cap its commercially successful sequel trilogy with a bang. The CGI-heavy “Jurassic” installments are expensive propositions, costing upwards of $185 million to produce. Since the newest “Jurassic World” was one of the first big-budget productions to resume filming during the pandemic, the studio had to shell out even more to cover intense and scrupulous measures — like renting out an entire hotel in London, electronic temperature checks and routine swab tests — to keep the set COVID-free. Those costs ran in the $5 million range, according to insiders. That means getting into the black won’t come cheap.

Colin Trevorrow returned to direct “Dominion,” which takes place after Isla Nublar is destroyed and dinosaurs now live — and hunt — freely alongside humankind. The movie unites the original “Jurassic Park” stars Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, who headline the sequel trilogy.

Though “Top Gun: Maverick” will descend to second place on box office charts, the all-audience tentpole is still flying high. Ticket sales are nearing the $300 million mark domestically, a notable benchmark in COVID times and enough to stand as Cruise’s highest-grossing film in North America.

Paramount’s sequel to 1986’s “Top Gun” debuted to a staggering $160 million over the long Memorial Day weekend. Since word-of-mouth has been so strong, revenues declined only 29% in its sophomore outing — the lowest percentage in history for a movie that debuted to $100 million or more.

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