Box Office: ‘Jurassic World’ shocks as no. 2 opener of all-time with $204.6 million

Attention Avengers: Star Lord and some genetically modified dinosaurs are out for your summer box office crown.  In a major surprise, Universal Pictures' “Jurassic World” earned an incredible $204.6 million this weekend for the second biggest opening of all-time.  That figure surpasses the $191.2 million “Avengers: Age of Ultron” debuted to last month.  It also is more than the $181.1 million “Jurassic Park III” made during its entire run in 2001.

There are two reasons “Jurassic World's” performance was so unexpected. The first is that pre-release polling indicated a $130-140 million debut, at best.  No tracking service or any of Universal's competitors saw an opening this massive as a real possibility.  Second, “Age of Ultron” was projected to top its predecessor, the reigning champ “The Avengers,” but couldn't even crack $200 million.  Some pundits believed that surpassing that figure was almost an anomaly and wouldn't occur again until higher ticket prices were at play.  Clearly, that isn't the case and may say just as much about the reception for “Age of Ultron” as it does the love and nostalgia for the “Jurassic Park” franchise.  

“Age of Ultron” is currently the no. 1 movie of 2015 with $444.7 million to date. While “Jurassic World” has significant competition over the next few weeks it could absolutely take the summer crown from Disney's blockbuster.  That being said, most industry observers still believe “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be the no. 1 movie released in 2015 when all is said in done.

Surviving as best it could in second place was last weekend's champ, “Spy.”  The 20th Century Fox release took in $16 million for $56.9 million in just 10 days.  That's a solid number, but the Paul Feig comedy may barely surpass the $100 million mark instead of steamroll through it as many expected.

“San Andreas” shook up third with $11 million and $119 million to date.  The Dwayne Johnson disaster flick has scared up $307 million worldwide so far.

“Insidious Chapter 3” landed in fourth taking in another $7.3 million for $37.3 million since debuting last week.  The third installment in the horror franchise dropped 67% from its opening frame.

Another Universal blockbuster, “Pitch Perfect 2,” rounded out the top five with $6 million. The Elizabeth Banks directed comedy has found $170.7 million domestically and $259.7 million globally since opening last month.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight's “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” took in $210,000 in 16 theaters or $15,000 per screen.  Honestly, that's not a fantastic result and the mini-major may have made a mistake going up against “Jurassic.”  Releasing in July might have been a smarter play.

New releases on Friday include “Inside Out” and “Dope.”

Weekend actuals are released on Monday.

For more box office and movie industry insight follow @HitFixGregory.