Jurassic World roars past US$100 mil in debut weekend

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(June 26): “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” topped the box office with a US$100 million-plus debut, only the second time ever that films have roared past that mark in back-to-back weekends.

The fifth movie in the franchise based on a dinosaur theme park collected US$148 million in theaters in the U.S. and Canada, ComScore Inc said Monday. The film beat Box Office Pro’s forecast of about US$129 million. It follows last weekend’s debut of more than US$100 million for Walt Disney Co’s “Incredibles 2,” which took second place this weekend with US$80.3 million.

“Fallen Kingdom,” via Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, was the only new wide release this weekend. It’s a sequel to the 2015 film “Jurassic World” and part of a reboot of the series that started in 1992, with Spielberg’s original “Jurassic Park.” The films have taken in US$4.36 billion globally.

The film has already been open as long as three weekends in some other parts of the world, contributing to a worldwide total that’s reached US$715 million.

Critics were split over the movie, and although the filmmakers welcome a US$100 million-plus debut, it pales in comparison to the US$209 million that “Jurassic World” collected in the first weekend in 2015. Universal is already preparing a third film in the series for 2021.

The new story is set three years after dinosaurs escaped their confines at the luxury resort Jurassic World and ran amok. The island has since been abandoned, but an erupting volcano threatens to wipe out the dinosaurs. Chris Pratt reprises his role as the fearless Owen Grady, who returns with Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing, who campaigns to protect the animals. Together, they try to save the creatures, vying with hunters who want to sell them to the highest bidder.

The movie cost US$170 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo, as well as tens of millions more to market. Only 54% of critics gave the film positive reviews, according to RottenTomatoes.com. The studio, part of Comcast Corp, was expecting to bring in around US$130 million.