I was torn on whether I wanted to bring this column out of the cellar I put it in exactly two years ago, but last weekend’s box office numbers are forcing my hand. And even as I write this, it’s hard to believe what “Jurassic World” accomplished in just three days. That’s all the time it took to earn over $500 million worldwide, a box office first. Incredible almost doesn’t describe it considering the last big opening the month of June was “Toy Story 3” five years ago when it earned $110.3 million. So, to beat that by nearly $100 million is ridiculous and why we are talking about it. But that’s not where the story ends as “Jurassic World” now owns the title for having the biggest domestic opening weekend ever, as well as the biggest international opening weekend ever, grossing $208.8 and $315.6 million respectively. This all according to Keith Simanton of BoxOfficeMojo.com, who said the film “laid claim to the title of Universal’s highest-grossing international weekend, beating the previous record holder “Furious 7” with $250 million. That’s unheard of for not only this franchise, for any franchise attempting to rekindle the magic from the original.
The simple fact this film grossed over $500 million in only one weekend is unreal, no matter what time of year it is. Sure, it helped that most schools are on their summer break currently, but that’s only a piece this overflowing box office pie. Also contributing to this first was 3D sales, which according to BoxOfficeMojo.com accounted for 65% of all international sales, roughly $205 million of the total $315 million earned. Funny thing is, I don’t even remember getting much of a benefit from the 3D glasses I had on when I saw this film a week ago. Meaning, you don’t have to spend the extra money to watch this in 3D or on an IMAX screen, the same money that obviously just helped set a few records; like in China where 95% of moviegoers watched this film in 3D according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. Or how about the overall take for IMAX internationally, which according to Universal was the neighborhood of $23.5 million, breaking the old record held by “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” Clearly there wasn’t much of a choice in some of these overseas markets, so it’s good the film was worth it either way as numbers are very much speaking louder than words at this point.
International success has been a recent trend lately with several films, including “Furious 7,” which to date has earned a staggering $1.1 billion overseas, accounting for 76% of its overall earning’s. That’s a good $810 million more than what it did here in the U.S., which is quite the anomaly for a film of its kind. By comparison, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” has earned $910 million of its total $1.3 billion from international ticket sales this year. That’s roughly 67% of its total earnings according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, so it will be interesting to see what the final numbers show for “Jurassic World,” which so far is sitting at a 60/40 split, favoring international ticket sales. That’s clearly a little lower, which helps support its domestic rise in less than a week. Go a little further down the list and you find “Cinderella,” which earned $333.4 million internationally and $532.6 million overall. From a foreign standpoint, that meant 63% of its earnings came from overseas markets. Then there’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its $569.6 million earned. Yeah that’s right, it made more than “Cinderella,” but that’s not the story. The ‘story’ is how 71% of its earnings came from international theater’s continuing a trend of where Hollywood is making most of their money at the box office; because out of the top 10 films of 2015, only “Pitch Perfect 2” has earned more domestically than internationally according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
In the end though, “Jurassic World” appears to be on a fast track to box office success that we simply are not use to. Figure, the budget was $150 million, so the fact it’s blown past that number in less than a week is mindboggling. Then again, Steven Spielberg is the executive producer, so maybe this was all part of his diabolical plan. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see a summer blockbuster make this much noise, which should only get louder as time moves on and the temperature gets hotter.
CLICK HERE to read Marcus’ review on “Jurassic World”