Universal’s “Jurassic World Dominion” roared to $18 million in Thursday previews.
The sixth film in the dino-saga is expected to loom large at the domestic box office this weekend, but it could be blistered by bad reviews and the continued popularity of “Top Gun: Maverick,” which is still soaring in its third week of release. “Jurassic World Dominion” is expected to generate $125 million in stateside ticket sales from 4,600 theaters across North America.
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Of course, “Jurassic World Dominion” enters the fray with an impressive box office legacy to live up to in terms of its debut. “Jurassic World,” which rebooted the “Jurassic Park” franchise in 2015, opened to a massive $208 million and ended its theatrical run with $653 million in North America and $1.6 billion globally. Its sequel, 2018’s “Fallen Kingdom,” debuted to a $150 million and tapped out with $417 million domestically and $1.3 billion worldwide. COVID may take a bite out of “Dominion’s” revenues, and geopolitical upheaval could also depress profits — the invasion of Ukraine means the latest “Jurassic World” won’t play in Russia, and China is not the major source of box office grosses that it was before the pandemic. In the case of China, that has to do with rising tensions with the U.S., as well as various outbreaks of the virus that have led to lockdowns. But “Jurassic World Dominion” will test the waters. It is one of the few Hollywood blockbusters to score a berth in China, where it opens this weekend.
The “Jurassic World Dominion” preview results compared favorably to other franchise entries. “Jurassic World” nabbed $18.5 million from Thursday night showings, while “Fallen Kingdom” generated $15.3 million over the same frame.
“Jurassic World Dominion” carries a hefty price tag, costing upwards of $185 million to produce, so it needs to be a box office behemoth. Roughly $5 million of that budget went to COVID safety protocols, which the production helped develop as one of the first major studio films to shoot during the pandemic.
Colin Trevorrow, who directed “Jurassic World,” returned to direct “Dominion.” The film brings together original “Jurassic Park” stars Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern, along with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, who headline the second trilogy.
Critics were not kind to what Trevorrow and company delivered. “Jurassic World Dominion” has a measly 34% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes with CNN’s Brian Lowry branding it an “XL-sized mediocrity” and the New York Times’ A.O. Scott decrying its “hectic incoherence.” Those takes probably aren’t being featured on the poster.
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