‘Jurassic World’ has the biggest opening of all time at the box office

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Over the weekend dinosaurs ruled the planet once again. Yes, Jurassic World shattered every single one of the box office predictions, actually becoming the Opening Weekend all time champion, dethroning The Avengers. It now has the record for not just Domestic, but International and Worldwide as well, making this a smash hit that very few saw coming. Perhaps we should have though, considering how both Jurassic Park as well as The Lost World: Jurassic Park set Opening Weekend records at the time. Sure, Jurassic Park III didn’t do that kind of business, but we ignored some clues with Jurassic World, making this possibly a much bigger surprise than it actually is.

Numbers wise here in the states, Jurassic World made an estimated $208.8 million, good enough to beat The Avengers’ $207.4 from merely three years ago. Initially, predictions has Jurassic World coming up just short with $204.6, but obviously that turned out to be on the lower end of the spectrum. It’s only the second film to open to more than $200 million, which is a staggering number however you slice it. The fact that it managed to eek out Marvel’s big juggernaut is probably just icing on the cake for the folks at Universal today. If nothing else, I bet filmmaker Colin Trevorrow and his partner Derek Connelly now have their pick of what they’d like to make next. Who would deny them at this point? Also, as if he wasn’t on the A-list already, Chris Pratt is now one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood, it’s just that simple.

For some perspective on this record being broken, here’s what the top ten Opening Weekends of all time look like now, domestically:

1. Jurassic World – $208.8
2. The Avengers – $207.4
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $191.2
4. Iron Man 3 – $174.1
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – $169.1
6. The Dark Knight Rises – $160.8
7. The Dark Knight – $158.4
8. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $158
9. The Hunger Games – $152.5
10. Spider-Man 3 – $151.1

The opening that Jurassic World had, about or slightly more than double what was initially expected, pushed the recently released Furious 7 out of the top ten, showing that, combined with Avengers: Age of Ultron rounding out the top three, this year the box office certainly knows how to catch fire. The other interesting thing to look at on this list is how certain types of films oddly wound up grouped together. The three Marvel superhero flicks are 2-4, the last two Batman movies are 6-7, and the first two Hunger Games outings are 8-9. I’m not sure that means anything too huge, expect to confirm that studios financially know what they’re doing when they continue to green-light certain types of projects. Plain and simple: money talks folks. As such, this won’t be our last Jurassic Park sequel, you can count on that.

Critics may not have embraced Jurassic World as fully as the studio would have liked (though it’s still a well received summer popcorn outing), but audiences have adored that, giving the film an A Cinemascore and clearly speaking with their wallets. You can’t argue with that either, as popularity is popularity. Is Jurassic World going to be an Oscar player? Not unless you feel confident that it’s going to score an Academy Award nomination in a technical category or two, no. Still, it’s the movie of the moment, clearly. It’ll be interesting to see how this does in the weeks to come, as well as how it affects the other big nostalgia fueled film later on this year. Considering the amount of money this one made, could Star Wars: The Force Awakens wind up doing even better? That’s a question for another day, but it’s interesting to mildly ponder right now for a bit.

In the end, box office isn’t a life or death thing and doesn’t matter much to anyone besides the people who made the movie and the bean counters at the studio, but it’s fun to look at, regardless. It’s another aspect of the film industry that, for better or worse, has been made into a sport of sorts. If you don’t care, it’s easy to ignore, but if you do, well…good for you. I have to imagine that this is a pretty happy Monday for you. Especially if you dug Jurassic World, enjoy having made it the biggest predator in the park.

If any of you didn’t see it yet, Jurassic World is in theaters everywhere now!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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