Dinosaurs rule the earth once again. Universal’s “Jurassic World” dominated the worldwide box office this past weekend setting new records at every level—highest domestic opening $208.8M—highest international debut $315.3—highest worldwide debut $524M. Folks, that’s over a half-billion in 3 days!?! Dinosaurs: the original superheroes.
Should have seen this coming in some regards as even last summer’s “Godzilla” debuted with $93M despite being a bit “ho-hum.” It’s no wonder Warner Bros. recently greenlit “Meg” which is like Jaws on ‘roids, as a prehistoric shark is unleashed upon modern day society. They’ve been trying to get this going for years, and no better time when the competition is literally eating you up.
The debut of “Jurassic World” was an extinction level event—for all other films in theaters—as many dropped off huge amounts in the shadow of the biggest box office behemoth this summer has seen. And this weekend, with incredible holds during the week, it’s expected to track down another $100M+ domestically.
The fourth film in the franchise easily surpassed its $150M budget in just days and may eventually become the biggest global film of 2015, but first it needs to pass up “Furious 7,” which has tracked down $1.5 billion. That said, it should have nearly $1B in the bank by the end of the weekend. Talk about oil reserves. Bammo.
What’s at stake this weekend is another record of mega-proportions; Pixar has opened #1 fourteen straight times it’s dropped a new film into wide release. That’s pretty much one of Hollywood’s golden accomplishments for a production company, and quite possibly the most enviable feat ever.
While Disney is keeping expectations under the radar with $60M estimates, that seems a tad low considering Pete Docter’s last flick, “Up,” which also came in with lackluster hype as far as Pixar pics go, still debuted with $68M.
I’m here to tell you “Inside Out” is classic Pixar—inventive, rich, colorful…and guaranteed to make you teary-eyed. I honestly don’t know how they do it each and every time, but, man, I admit it, they got me again. I haven’t teared up like that since “Toy Story 3,” which happens to be their biggest opener of all-time with $110M.
In nearly 4,000 theaters expect upwards of $75M for the toon, and extra-long playability as “Inside Out” will flicker long into the summer. It’s another instant classic for Pixar and Disney, as the Mouse House is on a roll that has never been seen before. And not even a minor misfire like “Tomorrowland” can derail their box office bullet train.
Also in wide release is Sundance fave, “Dope,” from Open Road Films. The coming-of-age, R-rated African American tale set in Los Angeles was highly sought after at the festival, and should perform well as summer’s first real indie to launch in multiplexes.
“Dope” footsteps of last summer’s “Chef,” a tasty indie treat from Open Road in the midst of blockbuster behemoths and continues a welcomed trend, which includes last fall’s “Nightcrawler,” as Open Road finally seems to be delivering on their promise of bringing quality entertainment to theaters. Yes, they’re finally living up to their own ideals. Not easy to do in Tinseltown, trust me.
In 2,002 theaters expect “Dope” to drop in with upwards of $8M-$10M.
As you may or may not remember, Open Road Films, a distribution company formed by two of the largest theatrical exhibition chains, AMC and Regal, was created because not enough good films were making their way to theaters. But most recently, they’ve usually given theatergoers forgettable flicks like “A Haunted House,” “The Loft,” and “Machete Kills.”
In 2,002 theaters expect “Dope” to drop in with upwards of $8M. Great start for a flick that was picked up for $7M. Now they just have to make back the $20M they spent in print and advertising.
Expanding in 68 theaters is Fox Searchlight’s “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” It opened decently enough last weekend in 15 theaters grossing almost $200k. Searchlight always has a way of finding an audience amidst the tentpoles of summer, and this looks to have a stellar run as word-of-mouth spreads.
- Jurassic World – $104M
- Inside Out – $82M
- Spy – $10M
- Dope – $9M
- San Andreas – $6M
CHOICE TV DINNER OF THE WEEK: “A Deadly Adoption” Lifetime Channel (Saturday, June 20)
Is this real life? Um. Maybe. Kristin Wiig and Will Ferrell bring melodrama to a whole new level, or is this a tragi-comedy. No one knows. Looks fun. Um. Maybe.
INDIE SLICE OF THE WEEK: “The Stanford Prison Experiment” IFC Films (July 17)
Why isn’t Stanford doing anything like this for the Mars colonization? Maybe they are. I sure hope someone is filming it.
Jeff Bock, NewsWhistle’s movie editor, is the senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at Jeff@NewsWhistle.com.
Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures; Poster Design by BOND