Raptorous Box Office for Jurassic World As Dinos Take Half Billion Bite Of Audiences’ Wallets
By: Ellis Nassour
Another weekend and another blockbuster! But Jurassic World (Universal) became the summer’s blockbuster buster. It’s the event everyone was eagerly anticipating and no one wanted to miss. Call this The Summer of the Dinos!
With a world-wide opening weekend gross of $525-million [$209-million, U.S.] — the strongest in modern times [those inflated prices for 3-D helped], no other film was safe from these monsters.It not only took a big bite out of audience’s wallets, but also knocked earthquake thriller San Andreas (Warner Bros.) [$119-million into this week] into a wide fissure and the extraordinarily violent, shameless, trashy espionage spoof Spy back out in the cold; not to mention giving Furious 7 (Universal) [$350-million] and Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner/Village Roadshow) [$138.6-million] flat tires.
There’s a long, hot summer ahead and some big ones still to come – the highly-touted animated 3-D Inside Out (Disney/Pixar) opening this weekend, with Mark Walberg and Seth MacFarlane in Ted 2 next weekend; Channing Tatum and Magic Mike: XXL (Warner/Village Roadshow) and Arnold Schwarzenegger back as he promised in Terminator Genisys (Paramount/Skydance) duking it out July 1; sci-fi thriller Self/less (Focus/Endgame) debuting July 10 – quickly followed by the Apatow/Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck (Universal); Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Paramount); the animated Pixels (Columbia); and Fantastic Four (20th Century-Fox/Marvel) — but can any of these beat Jurassic World‘s 40’ high colossus Indominus rex?
Young and old were drawn to the mysteries and wonder of the prehistoric creatures that ruled the Earth for 160 million years ago when the furtive imagination of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park novel hit the big screen in 1993 – brilliantly blurring the line between science, cloning, and fiction. For it’s day, the special effects were awesome.
Now, 22 years after the fateful events on Isla Nublar. Jurassic World, directed by Colin Trevorrow [co-executive produced by three-time Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg, who brought in the original classic Jurassic Park, working with longtime collaborator and co-producer Frank Marshall], takes place at the world’s first dino theme park where long dormant species in test tubes grow mighty, might big – and fierce.
"Jurassic World steps up the franchise in huge ways," says Spielberg, "I had high expectations and Colin more than delivered. We have a great sequel to the original film. It had my heart pounding in certain moments and that doesn’t happen to me – ever. I can finally say I left a movie with a euphoric feeling."
As a character states, rather matter-of-factly: "No one’s impressed with dinosaurs anymore. They want the WOW-factor but bigger, louder, and with more teeth." Voila, a new generation of moviegoers are in for a popcorn-crunching treat.
Movie special effects are now in a generation so far removed from what was possible in the 90s. As awesome as they are here [and some moments aren’t for the faint of heart – especially in 3-D and on real IMAX giant screens], great casting is an essential element to drive the storytelling beyond jawdropping thrills — making the film sustainable for just over two hours.
Dashing hunk Chris Pratt [Guardians of the Galaxy; TVs Parks and Recreation) as the former gyreen and Clyde Beatty/Gunther Gebel Williams of wild raptor training, is a man of strong character, raw instinct, and decisive action — who also knows how to rev a Harley through CGI throngs of thousands. Bryce Dallas Howard (Twilight series, Spider-Man 3, The Help) [a seemingly superwoman capable of treking jungles in six (or are they eight) inch heels], his former squeeze and the borderline unlikable manasger who somehow has maneuvered her way into running a Gobi-desert-size park on a tropical island after missing crisis-training classes, makes for a terrific sparring partner.
If you’re able to push back from the edge of your seat every so often, you’ll also spot a number of homages to Bond I-want-to-rule-the-world thugs and monster flicks of days gone by: King Kong — the arrival at the island gates, not to mention the number of tasty morsels being devoured; and Frankenstein.
The latter is courtesy of Tony winner BD Wong, back as Dr. Wu, who ingeniously discovered the process of revitalizing dinosaurs whose DNA was found in amber-trapped mosquitos. Every thriller has to have a heavy and if the raptors and dinos aren’t enough, there’s Vincent D’Onofrio (L&O fame), as someone between villain and hero, infamous for chewing every bit of scenery that’s not nailed down [and from the look of him he’s been doing it a lot].
Click Here for Jurassic World Trailer