Weekend Box Office Predictions: Can Jurassic World Erupt Again?

Source: Universal

It’s only been a week since Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 shattered records with a $182.69 million opening, but yet another high-profile franchise will join what’s been an interesting summer thus far, and it happens to be the follow-up to the #5 movie ever worldwide.

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal)

The J.A. Bayona-helmed Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a tricky one to nail. On one hand, 2015’s Jurassic World absolutely demolished expectations, opening to $208.81m (#1 debut ever, at the time) on its way to $652.27m domestically and $1.671 billion globally. On the other hand, Fallen Kingdom won’t reap the benefits of Jurassic World’s nostalgia effect and its killer “the park is open” hook.

Sequels to record-smashing movies almost always decline considerably, a phenomenon seen before with 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises ($448.14m vs. its predecessor’s $534.86m), 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron ($459.01m vs. its predecessor’s $623.36m), and last December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($620.18m vs. its predecessor’s $936.66m). Those movies mark an average -25.5% decline – should Fallen Kingdom follow that, it’s eyeing $485m+ by run’s end. Not bad at all, considering Universal produced Fallen Kingdom for a reasonable $170m.

It’s doubtful it’ll reach that high, however. As of this writing, Fallen Kingdom’s received mixed word-of-mouth, notching a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 6/10 from >130 reviews) and a 6.7/10 score on IMDb (from >35,000 ratings). Jurassic World wasn’t a beloved movie either, what with its 71% Rotten Tomatoes score and 7/10 IMDb score. Luckily, this franchise has never been about critical approval, hence why the series has collected $4 billion worldwide despite 1993’s Jurassic Park being the only entry with legitimate acclaim. It’s all about the dinosaurs, which make for reliable summer entertainment.

Something closer to Last Jedi’s -33.8% decline from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens suggests $430m for Fallen Kingdom, whereas a decline akin to 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park ($229.09m) from the first Jurassic Park ($357.07m at the time) suggests $418m. Fallen Kingdom will face some heavy competition, the most prominent being Incredibles 2 in its second weekend, plus Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp in two weeks. Jurassic World co-existed well with 2015’s Inside Out, yes, but Incredibles is on a whole other level here.

All that being said, it’s worth noting Jurassic World was pegged to debut around $125m before it blew up. This is a series with a ton of walk-up value and four-quadrant appeal. It’s not a particularly fanbase-heavy thing ala Marvel. Universal’s pulled out all the stops on Fallen Kingdom’s marketing, too, giving us stunts like travelling a T. rex down the Thames, getting the movie on every bit of packaging they can, and setting up a tie-in game with Jurassic World Evolution.

Tracking, as per Deadline, pegs Fallen Kingdom’s debut at $135m-$150m. Either result would be fine relative to its budget, especially since the movie’s playing well overseas, collecting an approximate $420m over two weeks of play (including a big $155.2m take from China). I’ll be bullish and peg Fallen Kingdom on the higher end of tracking.

Prediction: $150 million, #1 rank

 

HOLDOVERS

2. Incredibles 2 (Disney) – $100.5 million (-45%), $374.7m cume
3. Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.) – $10.4 million (-45%), $98.8m cume
4. Tag (Warner Bros.) – $7.5 million (-50%), $29.4m cume
5. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney) – $5.5 million (-45%), $203.6m cume
6. Deadpool 2 (Fox) – $5.2 million (-40%), $304m cume
7. Hereditary (A24) – $4.1 million (-40%), $35.2m cume
8. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) – $3.8 million (-30%), $670.7m cume
9. Superfly (Sony) – $3.1 million (-55%), $15.2m cume
10. Book Club (Paramount) – $1.3 million (-30%), $64.9m cume

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