‘Juras­sic World’ achieves big­gest de­but of all time

The China Post - - ARTS - BY LIND­SEY BAHR

Dinosaurs are any­thing but ex­tinct at the box of­fice.

“Juras­sic World,” the fourth film in the se­ries, be­came the high­est global opener of all time with a stag­ger­ing US$511.8 mil­lion in its first days in the­aters. It also de­voured a num­ber of U.S. box of­fice records with a US$204.6 mil­lion take, the Ren­trak me­di­amea­sure­ment com­pany es­ti­mated on Sun­day.

In ad­di­tion to set­ting a record for 2015, “Juras­sic World” is now the sec­ond-high­est U.S. open­ing of all time, right be­hind “Marvel’s The Avengers” which took in US$207.4 mil­lion in 2012. By the time Mon­day ac­tu­als roll in, there is a chance the film could de­throne “Avengers.”

It has been 14 years since there has been a new “Juras­sic” film in the­aters, and the com­bi­na­tion of cin­e­matic grandeur, nos­tal­gia and aware­ness helped “Juras­sic World” far sur­pass an­a­lyst pre­dic­tions go­ing into the week­end, which had the film on track for a US$125 mil­lion open­ing.

“This over-per­formed in a way that I’ve never seen,” Ren­trak’s Se­nior Me­dia An­a­lyst Paul Der­garabe­dian said. “It broke the box of­fice sound bar­rier.”

Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures and Leg­endary co-fi­nanced the US$150 mil­lion, PG-13 rated film. Au­di­ences in ev­ery quad­rant turned out to see the film in the­aters. Ac­cord­ing to exit polls, 39 per­cent were un­der the age of 25, sig­ni­fy­ing the mas­sive in­ter­est of both a new gen­er­a­tion and the con­tin­ued en­thu­si­asm of those who saw “Juras­sic Park” in 1993.

Also, au­di­ences shelled out the ex­tra money to see the film in the big­gest for­mat pos­si­ble. About 48 per­cent of U.S. au­di­ences opted for 3D.

“It is ex­tra­or­di­nary. The film has res­onated with au­di­ences around the world,” said Nick Car­pou, Uni­ver­sal’s pres­i­dent of U.S. dis­tri­bu­tion.

Di­rected by Colin Trevor­row and ex­ec­u­tive-pro­duced by Steven Spiel­berg, “Juras­sic World” is the third in a se­ries of block­busters for star Chris Pratt, who also starred in the 2014 box of­fice hits “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Lego Movie.”

“He’s like Jimmy Ste­wart with a leather vest and mus­cles,” Der­garbe­dian said. “He’s a great mod­ern-day ac­tion hero.”

This is also likely not the last “Juras­sic” film au­di­ences will see. Pratt has stated in in­ter­views that he has signed on for fu­ture in­stall­ments. But right now, Uni­ver­sal is fo­cus­ing on what’s in the­aters.

“Juras­sic World” is just the lat­est hit for Uni­ver­sal in 2015, fol­low­ing “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Fu­ri­ous 7.”

No stu­dio even tried to com­pete with the un­beat­able dinosaurs this week­end, and thus holdovers pop­u­lated the rest of the top five. Melissa McCarthy’s “Spy” earned US$16 mil­lion in its sec­ond week­end in the­aters, bring­ing its U.S. to­tal to US$56.9 mil­lion. “San An­dreas” added an­other US$11 mil­lion, and “In­sid­i­ous Chap­ter 3” and “Pitch Per­fect 2” took the fourth and fifth spots, with US$7.3 mil­lion and US$6 mil­lion, re­spec­tively.

The dino-sized de­but of “Juras­sic World” is of ut­most im­por­tance to the in­dus­try, too, which has seen three con­sec­u­tive down week­ends in what was sup­posed to be a record-set­ting sum­mer.

“We got the wind back in the sum­mer sails,” said Der­garabe­dian, cit­ing up­com­ing films like “In­side Out,” “Mission: Im­pos­si­ble- Rogue Na­tion” and “Ted 2” as some of the big films on the way. “This gets the sum­mer back on track.”

AP

This photo pro­vided by Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures shows Nick Robin­son, left, as Zach, and Ty Simp­kins as Gray, in a scene from the film “Juras­sic World,” di­rected by Colin Trevor­row, in the next in­stall­ment of Steven Spiel­berg’s ground­break­ing “Juras­sic Park” se­ries.

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