After a fourteen year hiatus, the JURASSIC PARK franchise roared back into theaters with a T-REX size record debut of 208.8 million. Powered by the heavily promoted involvement of Executive Producer (and original director) Steven Spielberg, as well as current box office super-hero Chris Pratt, JURASSIC WORLD now ranks as the biggest opening of all time.
The original dino-blockbuster shattered all records when it opened in June 1993 to a then stellar 47 million dollar gross over its three day premiere at the U.S. box office–eventually hitting 357 million (plus another 556 million abroad). 1997 and 2001 saw two sequels. Each film, including Spielberg’s THE LOST WORLD JURASSIC PARK, fared with diminished returns. JURASSIC WORLD will look to exceed the original film’s grosses with a final tally upwards of a billion dollars worldwide.
The Colin Trevorrow directed film swooped in to boost the summer box office on the heels of several underperforming weekends in a row. After a somewhat softer than expected debut last weekend, the number one movie SPY slid to second place with a passable 15.6 million. Paul Feig directed the Melissa McCarthy starrer–hoping to cross the 100 million mark dollar mark with their third collaboration (after BRIDESMAIDS and THE HEAT).
After a muscular hold in its sophomore frame, former heavyweight wrestling champ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s disaster pic SAN ANDREAS suffered a steeper drop this weekend. Hanging onto third place with nearly 11 million, and over 119 million total thus far, the high concept roller-coaster should pass 140 million by the end of it’s run. It’s overseas where the New Line production, released by parent company Warner Bros, is a welcome hit for the studio whose MAD MAX: FURY ROAD has failed to go gangbusters offshore (including an apparent lack of release in all important territory China) as many predicted.
Dropping a genre norm of 68 percent to roll into fourth place, was INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 with 7.3 million and capping at just over 37 million. The horror pic debuted to drastically less than INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2, which had retained the original film’s director James Wan (red hot off of the success of THE CONJURING). While the low-budget horror threequel should struggle to top 50 million at the U.S, it will still turn a profit.
Rounding out the top five were the girls of PITCH PERFECT 2. Elizabeth Banks’ directorial debut eased a scant 15 percent (the lowest drop in the top ten) to 5.8 million, for a total of over 171 million and counting. Overseas, the inexpensive production continues to overperform as well. Expect an announcement for a third outing any day now.
Tumbling into their second weekend are the boys from Queens and mega agent turned studio-head, Ari Gold. After failing to make the jump from the small screen to the big screen last weekend, a precipitous drop for the critically-maligned pic has relegated further outings back to HBO. Partying in sixth place with less than 4.2 million, and less than 26 million total, expect the boys to cash out with not much more than 35 million.
An uncertain future may await MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. The acclaimed action picture from director George Miller dropped a not so great 48 percent this weekend for seventh place and a total falling short of 139 million. While the movie may scrape past the 150 million dollar mark, it was banking on overseas markets to make up a costly production and equally expensive marketing.
Marvel’s The Avengers proved a resilient bunch this weekend. Down a respectable 42 percent, the Joss Whedon directed THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON amassed another 3.7 million for eighth place with 444.8 million. The comic book adaptation reaches a few million shy of surpassing THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’ 448 million total (not accounting for inflation or higher 3D ticket pricing), but can’t touch its predecessors 610 million.
At over 1.4 billion and counting worldwide, Marvel seems to be in it for the long run. Next summer’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is already serving as a defacto AVENGERS installment. It will feature Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/IRON MAN and introduce both SPIDER-MAN and BLACK PANTHER into the Marvel cinematic universe. Meanwhile THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is already scheduled for May 2018; it is the first of a two parter that will culminate in 2019, and is expected to cross-over with THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.
Clinging to the top ten is the George Clooney starrer, TOMORROWLAND, at number nine. Unlikely to crack a 100 million domestic, the Brad Bird picture is the second huge disappointment for Walt Disney Pictures after indulging a Pixar Animation Studios director’s live-action passion project (see Andrew Stanton’s JOHN CARTER). A huge write down, the movie comes at a time when the studio has already struggled with other live-action endeavors.
While exploring a lucrative trend of bringing fairy tales such as ALICE & WONDERLAND and CINDERELLA to life, there have been other recent misfires like SAVING MR. BANKS (starring Tom Hanks) and MILLION DOLLAR ARM (with John Hamm). A proposed third TRON movie recently being shelved, output from Marvel Studios and reliance on Lucasfilm properties STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES may become more important than ever– along with Pixar of course. John Lasseter has already agreed to direct a fourth TOY STORY and Brad Bird is back behind the camera for THE INCREDIBLES 2.
Rounding out the top ten is Sony’s ALOHA coming in under a million, with 18 million overall. Cameron Crowe’s bomb should misfire with a final tally of 20 million or so before theaters say “Aloha”.
(Mystery Box office Guy)