The dinosaurs of the Jurassic films returned to theaters this weekend along with a trio of cast members from Steven Spielberg’s original, beloved adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel. The sequels (not even Spielberg’s) have fared as well with critics, and this week marked a new low for the six-film franchise in that respect. The money appears to be just fine, if still below the benchmarks made by the World films. Nevertheless, this weekend marks the first time this summer that we’re talking about a film possibly making half-a-billion at the domestic box office, and it was only 30-some years in the making, not 65 million.
(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)
Jurassic World Dominion made a very strong $18 million in previews (from Thursday and elsewhere), putting it among the top 30 in that category. The average opening for films banking $15-20 million in previews was $153.7 million – which included highs of $208.8 million (Jurassic World) and $207.4 million (The Avengers) and lows of $102.6 million (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2) and $117 million (Spider-Man: Homecoming). Dominion came in a little below that preview average with $143.4 million and also below Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which, with $15.3 million in previews, opened to $148 million and still cleared over $417 million.
This is not to say that the reported $185 million-budgeted Dominion is going to come up a disappointment. Far from it; it has already cleared over $250 million worldwide. Only Jurassic Park III failed to reach $600 million worldwide, and the two previous World films cleared $3 billion between them. Will a $5 billion franchise now make it to $6 billion? That may depend on its domestic total, which is currently running ahead of The Batman from this past March, which had $17.9 million in previews, opened to $134 million, and ended with over $369 million. Dominion has a slight edge on it with the summer weekdays. Where the first two World movies made 32-34% of their gross over their first eight weeks from Mon-Thurs, The Batman made 24.08%.
So if the weekend drops are not too steep, a number around $385 million is still possible, if not higher. Though we must wonder if the public will agree with the critics, who currently have Dominion sitting at 30% on the Tomatometer, and flock to other movies. Even being optimistic with that total, only two films to date have driven their international totals to over $600 million and they are Spider-Man: No Way Home and No Time to Die. Even the new Doctor Strange is only at $532 million and may come up just shy of a billion too. Dominion’s worldwide total currently stands at $389 million. So while we are starting to get back to theaters as a country, the World may not necessarily benefit from that.
(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures)
Top Gun: Maverick should just be included in the King of the Crop section for the rest of the summer because that is what it is. Whether or not it will be the biggest film of the season should no longer be a mystery. Last week, the realization hit that it was headed for $400 million. This week, we are looking at it joining the exclusive $500 million club. Maverick had a more normal drop this week in the 40th percentile, but that still meant a third weekend of $50 million. Only four of Tom Cruise’s previous films managed to gross that much even on their first weekends, let alone their third. If estimates hold, this will be the 10th-best third weekend ever, while the $393 million total after 17 days is the 15th best, right between Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast and Pixar’s Finding Dory; those films grossed $45.4 million and $41.8 million in weekend three. Anything above $24 million next weekend and Maverick will maintain its pace to become just the 17th film to gross half-a-billion domestically. In a day or two, it will pass not only Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to become the highest-grossing film of 2022, but also Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to become Paramount’s second-highest grossing film ever behind Titanic. Maverick’s worldwide total stands at over $747 million.
After six weeks of release, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was on the verge of becoming the first film of 2022 to hit $400 million. Now it will watch Top Gun: Maverick do it in fewer than three. Another $5 million this weekend brings Multiverse’s total to near $398 million, and during the coming week it will become the 11th Marvel film to pass $400 million. The film is still pacing ahead of both Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3 and should see its total settle in, as expected, between $410-415 million, which would make it 8th on the all-time Marvel list.
(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)
Universal’s animated The Bad Guys is finishing up a nice run of eight straight weeks in the top five. That will come to an end next week when Lightyear opens, but it has quietly made over $91 million and may still push itself to $95 million, coming up just shy of nine digits. That’s much better than The Bob’s Burgers Movie, which is not going to get much higher than $30 million. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is also going to come up just short of reaching $200 million, but surpassing $190 million domestic and nearing $400 million worldwide means Paramount is likely not done with this franchise just yet. Despite the studio’s release of The Lost City teetering between red and black in their books, they may even be considering a sequel to that film, given it just missed its 12th straight week in the top 10 (estimates could shift back in its favor by Monday) and is now passing $105 million. Maybe a growth in viewership on DVD and Paramount Plus could be something they choose to build upon, given that it is the only film of theirs in 2022 not already a franchise player that became a success.
A24 will certainly want to be in business with the Daniels again given their film, Everything Everywhere All At Once, is the story that refuses to die at the box office. An additional $1.2 million this week brings its total to $63 million. Focus may be thinking twice about bringing the gang from Downton Abbey back as A New Era is only going to pass $40 million this upcoming week, and it has currently made less worldwide than the first film made domestically. Universal and Blumhouse are not going to take a huge bath on Firestarter, which, despite being reduced to 150 theaters (drive-ins mainly) and still airing on Peacock, managed to hang in the top 10 with $820,000 and drive its total to $9.2 million. It is still the second worst-reviewed wide release of the year (10% on the Tomatometer), ahead of only the Liam Neeson thriller Blacklight (9%). Lastly, David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future (still in 774 theaters) fell 68% down to only $375,000 and has a total of about $2 million.
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
The dinosaurs may be set to have the shortest run at the top of the box office this summer as the first Pixar film to be released exclusively in theaters in three years is finally set to arrive. Lightyear, the story of the hero who inspired the toy, looks to be the family event of the summer. Word is already very strong from those who have seen it, and this should end up being the first family film to surpass $200 million (and possibly $300 million) since the pandemic began.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]