Following Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick strutting its stuff and Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ charge toward $1 billion, Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion will once again prove that there’s a global appetite for moviegoing close to two years after cinemas reopened.
Jurassic World Dominionwhich has Colin Trevorrow returning to the director’s chair after skipping 2018’s Fallen Kingdomwill see its worldwide box office rise to $325M+ after debuting in the US and Canada with at least $125M at 4,600-plus theaters, plus another $120M+ from 59 new offshore markets including China ($150M+ if you include holdovers). Already, the threequel started strong last weekend with $55.7M from 15 territories including Korea and Mexico.
Stateside, Dominion is poised to be the third best start for the franchise after Jurassic World‘s $208.8M in 2015 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘s $148M in 2018. All rival studios are staying out of the dinosaurs’ runway in regards to new wide releases. Eight reviews on Rotten Tomatoes show 88% fresh currently (Fallen Kingdom was 47% Rotten while Jurassic World was 71% fresh). For a moment there, Jurassic World owned the all-time opening domestic record in 2015 before being unseated by Star Wars: Force Awakens six months later that year with $247.9M. Of course, that 3-day opening domestic BO record would ultimately be owned by Avengers: Endgame‘s $357.1M.
Part of the want-to-see factor here in the sixth Jurassic movie is the full return of original Jurassic Park actors Laura Dern, Sam Neil and Jeff Goldblum, who last appeared together in the 1993 movie. The production, which included 40K Covid tests and $6M-$8M on pandemic protocols, was one of the few Hollywood tentpoles to commence filming during the pandemic, granted outside the US, with its start date pushed from February to July in 2020, followed by a pause in October that year due to positive COVID results. As Deadline first reported, production wrapped after nearly 100 days of shooting in early November 2020.
Here in the states, we hear that presales for Jurassic World Dominion are pacing on a similar level to that of Top Gun: Maverick before its opening, which resulted in a $126.7M 3-day. There’s some stunt previews going on for Dominion but the bulk of the preview cash will be raked in starting Thursday at 4PM, which is also when all the Top Gun 2 large format and PLF screens go over to the dinosaurs.
Despite Dominion‘s presence, the notion is that both Top Gun 2 and the prehistoric beast movie can live together and not cut into each other’s ticket sales. Top Gun 2 is expected to decline around -50% for an estimated third weekend of $45M. There’s a bit of overlap in the middle-age demos of both movies, but Dominion is geared toward families while the Tom Cruise movie skews older. In its second Monday, Top Gun 2 continued to do double digit business with $12.4Mtaking its running total to $308M.
With China only just waking up again as Beijing returns to somewhat normal daily life, this is the market to watch. About 80% of cinemas in the country are understood to be operating, though Shanghai’s are still closed and there are capacity restrictions in other areas. Studio movies have played in China since the latest Covid wave and were severely impacted in those two key cities, but Dominion is the first major Hollywood title to release there with the majority of cinemas open. Presales have been strong, and depending on word of mouth, the market could skew above $40M. F9, which is not a comp here, had a start in China last year in a healthier marketplace, with $136M.
Here are some comps: in the same suite of new foreign markets this weekend and at today’s rates, Jurassic World opened to $226M ($187M excluding previews) while Fallen Kingdom bowed to $227M ($212M excluding previews).
Latin America ate up the early bow last frame, with records set in several markets for Dominion. The family audience turned up with anecdotal stories of four generations attending screenings. The Top 5 for last weekend were Mexico ($18.1M), Korea ($15.2M), Brazil ($4.3M), Italy ($3.4M) and Hong Kong ($2.9M).