False charges of sexism obviously fell on deaf ears. Weekend estimates range from $177 million to $190 million for the debut of “Jurassic World,” the fourth in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, the first in 14 years.
After three lackluster weekends in a row that somehow managed to pace behind the box office disaster that was the summer of 2014, Hollywood was desperate for a big hit. So too were moviegoers, who have waited since early May for the kind of summer spectacle they have come to expect. Since the May 1 release of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” neither “Mad Max: Fury Road” nor “Tomorrowland” hit that sweet spot.
That all changed Friday.
As of now “Jurassic World” is on pace to earn the third highest debut in history, behind only the “Avengers” films ($207 million and $191 million). By taking in $80 million on Friday alone, the dino-driven fourquel obliterated the previous one-day June record held previously by “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” ($68.5 million), and annihilated the June weekend record-holder, “Man of Steel’s” $116.6 million.
More impressive still is the likelihood of “Jurassic World” surpassing in its first weekend the total domestic take of its predecessor, 2001’s “Jurassic Park III” ($181 million).
Universal is killing it this summer. On top of “Jurassic World,” the studio already opened “Fast and Furious 7” to record box office (4th all-time worldwide gross of $1,510 billion). Still on deck for Universal is “Ted 2” and “Minions,” which are expected to print all kinds of money. As if Universal weren’t already charmed enough, “Jurassic World” will have the next two weeks all to itself — until Universal’s own “Ted 2” arrives June 26.
In other box office news, “Spy” slid into second with a not bad -44% drop over its just-okay debut weekend. Another $16.3 million puts Melissa McCarthy’s James Bond spoof at $57 million.
After a spectacular opening, Dwayne Johnson’s “San Andreas” dropped fast. In week three, the family disaster picture sits at $119 million. “Insidious: Chapter 3” is bottoming out with a -62% drop over its opening weekend, and just $39 million total. “Entourage” is toast. The big screen adaptation of the HBO comedy collapsed -62% in week two. That adds up to just a $4 million weekend and $25.5 million total.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” has run out of gas in week five. Another $4 million this weekend means a $138 million total, or a lot less than what’s needed for break even. “Tomorrowland” is nearly invisible with just $84 million after four weeks. George Clooney’s left-wing screed is looking like the bomb of the year.
Deadline has the full top 10.
Memory tells me this weekend blew the doors off of this same weekend last year. Unfortunately, the site where I normally get this information is down, so I can’t do the exact math.
Side Note: With the ongoing extinction of the movie star already in place, I say this cautiously but do wonder if all the goodwill Chris Pratt engendered in “Guardians of the Galaxy” didn’t boost “Jurassic World.” Unlike “Guardians,” the “Jurassic” script doesn’t give him much to work with. He’s still a likable, strong, masculine presence — something sorely lacking in films these days. I’m not sure I would yet compare him to a young Harrison Ford (as some have), but I have an open mind. Regardless, I’ll take Pratt over Shia LaBeouf any day of the week.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC