Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom earned a strong $58.678 million on its first day of release, including $15.3m in Thursday previews. Yes, that’s 29% below the $81m opening day of Jurassic World. And yes, the sequel made less in its “whole Friday” (counting the Thursday number) than what the 2015 predecessor earned ($62m) in just its “pure Friday” (minus the $18.5m Thursday preview gross). But we’re still looking at an over/under $145m opening weekend, just under Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146.5m in 2017) and Furious 7 ($147m in 2015 sans 3D). So, yeah, Universal/Comcast Corp.’s $170m sequel us doing just fine.
For the record, absolutely no one expected Fallen Kingdom to open anywhere near the last film’s shocking $208.8 million debut weekend. Heck, a $145m debut would have been above most expectations heading into the Bryce Dallas Howard/Chris Pratt sequel’s opening Fri-Sun frame. The film benefited from good reviews, a buzzy hook (“the park is open”) and a kid-friendly star (Pratt) coming off two huge kid-friendly hits (LEGO Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy). It was also the first Jurassic Park movie in 14 years. This is merely the first Jurassic Park movie in three years. It was less special, and thus it’ll make less money.
Fallen Kingdom got mixed-negative reviews and had a plot (the heroes go to the deserted island to rescue dinos) quite like The Lost World. It isn’t quite as colorful or kid-friendly, and it’s opening on the heels of Walt Disney’s Incredibles 2’s boffo $183m debut weekend and right alongside its over/under $80m second weekend. Moreover, we are currently in a time when most sequels (especially those not in the MCU) open smaller than their predecessors, as has been the case since around 2010. Fallen Kingdom should not be declared a disappointment for merely performing about as well as Jurassic World was expected to perform three years ago.
If Jurassic World 2 performs accordingly, we’re looking at a $146 million debut weekend, followed by a multiplier of 2.55x (The Mummy) to 2.75x (Kong: Skull Island). That would give the it a $367m-$400m domestic total. Split the difference (2.65x) and you get a $385m cume. The summer weekdays will be to its advantage, but it won’t be as buzzy as the last movie. It will have brutal competition (Ant-Man and the Wasp, Skyscraper, Hotel Transylvania 3, Equalizer 2, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, Mission: Impossible Fallout, etc.) in July. Shed no tears for a $170 million flick that ends up over/under $380m.
The movie has already earned over $530 million worldwide. That’s the other important factor. The J.A. Bayona-directed monster movie opened 2.5 weeks ago in much of the world to avoid the FIFA World Cup. And as of Thursday, it had earned $475m worldwide, including $178m in China. So, this domestic opening day puts it at over $534m, meaning it has already passed Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc.’s Godzilla ($529m in 2014) and will pass Universal’s own King Kong ($550m in 2005) and Warner Bros.’ Kong: Skull Island ($566m) sometime today. Whether or not it gets to $1 billion worldwide, when it comes to monster movies, Jurassic Park is still in a world of its own.