The dinos will have no trouble winning the weekend, but the sequel’s opening won’t come close to matching ‘Jurassic World’s’ debut three years ago.
The dinos are back.
Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom stomped into North American theaters Thursday night, earning $15.3 million in previews for a projected $54 million Friday and $133 million-plus for the weekend, according to early returns. At this rate, the summer tentpole will have no trouble wresting the box-office crown from holdover Incredibles 2, although Disney and Pixar’s Incredibles 2 is proving to be formdiable competition.
As expected, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is pacing notably behind Jurassic World, which grossed $18.5 million in previews on its way to a then-record weekend opening of $208.8 million.
Jurassic World — benefiting from pent-up demand for a franchise that had long been absent from the big screen — scored the biggest domestic debut of all time when it was released in June 2015, a record it held until Star Wars: Force Awakens launched to $248 million six months later.
The sequel, costing roughly $170 million to produce before marketing, has already earned more than $466 million overseas, where it began rolling out two weeks ago. That includes $170 million from China alone. And in North America, it is headed for the fourth-best debut of the year so far behind a trio of blockbusters from the Disney empire; Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Incredibles 2.
This time out, directing duties belonged to Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona (The Impossible). Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard once again lead the cast, while Daniella Pineda, Rafe Spall, Isabella Sermon, James Cromwell and Geraldine Chaplin are among the actors joining the franchise for the first time.
The story follows Pratt and Howard’s characters as they rush to help rescue the dinosaurs on the abandoned island of Isla Nublar after a volcano erupts. They uncover a menacing conspiracy, however, when the evacuation leads to a secret dino-encampment on the mainland of America.
Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley produced Fallen Kingdom, with Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow (who helmed Jurassic World) executive producing.
Incredibles 2 is poised to do formidable business in its sophomore outing with a projected $80 million-plus, one of the biggest second weekends of all time. On Thursday, the Disney and Pixar sequel stayed at No. 1 despite the entry of Jurassic World 2 with an estimated $16 million for a North America total of nearly $170 million.
June 22, 12:50 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.