This ain’t a mean feat! Nobody would have seen it coming. When 2012’s The Avengers had grossed more than $200 million at the domestic box-office in the opening weekend, we knew that we had seen something totally remarkable. It was an event that even the sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron could not match ($191.3 million). But some other release of this year managed to not only become the second movie ever with an opening of more than $200 million in North America, but also inch just above the opening of The Avengers and enter into the record books. That movie is Jurassic World, which no longer remains in the shadows of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic but has carved a mighty huge space for itself in history books. Jurassic World earned $208.8 million on its opening weekend in North America, slightly above the $207.4 million opening of The Avengers. That is only half the story! It earned $524.1 million worldwide at the box-office, another record in Hollywood, becoming the first movie to grab more than $500 million globally on the opening weekend. This figure was boosted by the same-weekend release in China where the movie earned about $100 million. We are now going to see the third billion-dollar movie of the year, after Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and this massive year of franchises is living upto its reputation!
To whom do we give credit for this amazing success behind Jurassic World? The director Colin Trevorrow, of course, to begin with. The movie is highly entertaining, filled with ingredients that go into a typical summer blockbuster, and scales it up by giving the audience the thing they are really seeking – a massive vicious dinosaur. It pays homage to the original Jurassic Park more than once, and that would have been approved by many old-timers. Universal Pictures did a fantastic job in marketing this film, showcasing the opening of the theme park, which had never happened in the earlier movies, and thus inviting the audience to visit the theme park as much as the movie. Chris Pratt may not have had the greatest of roles in the movie, but his jump into the A-list category after 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy would have been another incentive for the audience. I also believe that the high entertainment value provided by Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron in the previous two months and their eventual success at the box-office has increased the love for franchise movies, and made the idea of going to a theatre on the weekend appealing to a wider set of audience. A number of other factors too would have played their part. Eventually, it worked out more than ‘just fine’ for the studio, and this $180 million production budget film (estimated) is already halfway there in joining the billion-dollar club where its predecessor and inspiration, 1993’s Jurassic Park, is waiting.
The rest of the box-office numbers are no match to the T-Rex-sized opening of Jurassic World. Nevertheless, Melissa McCarthy’s Spy dropped by only 46% in its second weekend in North America, helped by the strong reviews it has garnered. The movie has earned $113 million worldwide so far, and as I said last week, it should be comfortably crossing $200 million globally and be deemed a hit – the third in a row for director Paul Feig. The horror movie Insidious: Chapter 3 fell much more sharply by 67% in its second weekend, and has collected about $64 million worldwide (already a hit considering its low budget). Dwayne Johnson’s flick San Andreas suddenly burst to life in the overseas markets, and has grossed about $373 million globally, with 68% coming from foreign markets. Last week I had talked about San Andreas managing to earn good returns for the studios before the theatrical run ends, but I wasn’t expecting to see this tally in a week’s time. The $110 million budget movie is now headed for total box-office earnings north of $400 million and even $500 million possibly, which makes it a big winner for Warner Bros. who has not really had a great year so far. San Andreas would also become the biggest movie for Dwayne Johnson outside the Fast & Furious franchise, making his strong standing as an action hero quite evident.
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office:
1. Jurassic World ($208.8 million)
2. Spy ($15.6 million; second weekend)
3. San Andreas ($10.8 million; third weekend)
4. Insidious: Chapter 3 ($7.3 million; second weekend)
5. Pitch Perfect 2 ($6.4 million; fifth weekend)