Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom presents an interesting story from a box-office perspective. Three years ago, the original Jurassic World wildly beat opening-weekend expectations and debuted with a whopping $208 million, which — at the time — was the biggest opening weekend in box-office history (until Star Wars: The Force Awakens came along later that same year). Nobody expected numbers those big for the reboot of a franchise that had gone stale with Jurassic Park III back in 2001.
Jurassic World was extremely well received — Cinemascore moviegoers gave it an A and critics gave it a solid 71 percent from Rotten Tomatoes — and went on to score a whopping $1.6 billion worldwide, including $652 million in the United States (it remains the sixth biggest film of all time). The public perceptions of its two stars — Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard — have not shifted much in the intervening years, and if anything, J. A. Bayona reflects an upgrade at director over Colin Trevorrow. Yet, despite the huge success of the original, box-office pundits felt that the sequel would never live up to the original at the box office, even though sequels in the cinematic-universe era regularly score better numbers than their predecessors. Expectations for the sequel were thus tempered, and studios estimated it would come in with around $130 in its opening weekend, considerably less than the original Jurassic World.
Those pundits were right. Fallen Kingdom fell well short of its predecessor. But they were also wrong, because Fallen Kingdom managed to handily beat expectations, coming in with a $150 million opening. That’s nearly $60 million short of the 2015 entry, and yet, it remains a huge victory for Universal. The studio wasn’t expecting to duplicate the $1.6 billion of the first Jurassic World, but with a $150 million opening and more than $500 million already in the bank from overseas markets, Fallen Kingdom is already on its way to another $1 billion. Interesting sidenote: About 53 percent of all global ticket sales for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has come from the 3D format, largely driven by the world largest 3D company RealD.
Critics were not nearly as enamored with this entry (50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences still liked it (it received a B+ from Cinemascore), and the film actually picked up steam based on word of mouth over the course of the weekend. We have all once again underestimated moviegoers’ desire to see dinosaurs eat people, and unless Mission: Impossible – Fallout or Ant Man and The Wasp wildly exceed expectations, Fallen Kingdom may also be the last $100 million opening weekend until November.
Meanwhile, Incredibles 2 continues to put up huge numbers despite the new competition. In its second weekend, the Pixar film added another $80 million to bring its 10-day total to $349.7 million (let’s just call that an even $350 mil). It’s already the third biggest movie of the year in North America, a position it is likely to hold for the rest of 2018. After only 10 days, it’s also the fourth biggest Pixar film of all time, and on the verge of passing Inside Out ($356 million) for number three.
With Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2 soaking up more than $225 million at the box office between them, there wasn’t much left for the rest of the movies to compete over this weekend. Nevertheless, Ocean’s 8 continued to draw a decent crowd, pulling in $11.3 million to bring its cumulative total to $99 million after its third weekend. Tag fell 47 percent in its second weekend and, with $7.9 million, it now sits at $30 million.
May openers Deadpool 2 and Solo continue to hang around, as well. They added $5.1 million and $4.3 million to bring their overall totals to $304 million and $202 million, respectively. It doesn’t look like Hereditary is going to surpass Lady Bird’s $48 million high mark for A24, but with another $3.4 million it is sitting pretty at $34.6 million after three weeks, a considerable feat after a D+ Cinemascore.
Superfly dropped 54 percent in its second weekend, stalling out with $3.1 million to bring its two-week total to $15 million, while Avengers: Infinity War remains the longest-running film in the top ten. It earned $2.4 million to bring its 9-week total to $669 million, good for the second biggest film of the year. It’s not going to earn enough to pass Black Panther, which sits stubbornly at $699,694,000. It needs $306,000 to cross the $700 million mark, and believe it or not, it’s still in over 100 theaters despite already being available for home viewers.
Finally, the Mr. Rogers’ documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? added 205 screens and $1.8 million in its third weekend as it continues to roll out nationwide. The documentary crossed the $4 million mark and outstanding word-of-mouth should put it in contention for the highest-grossing documentary of 2018, a title still held by RGB with $10.4 million.