This weekend is likely to see a second consecutive $100 million+ opener, and the fourth of this year’s summer season thus far. Our analysis:
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Opening Weekend Range: $115 – 140 million
Three years after Jurassic World shattered box office expectations with a then-record $208.8 million opening weekend, stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and plenty of dino mayhem are the driving factors behind the fifth film in the blockbuster franchise which arrives in time for the 25th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s original 1993 film.
Unfortunately, pre-release buzz for this sequel is more muted than its predecessor — although that’s something we’ve generally been expecting. The 2015 film was a major benefactor of nostalgia-driven momentum, serving as the franchise’s first entry in 14 years and offering a concept fans had wanted to see since the first movie (a fully functional “Jurassic Park”).
Although the studio’s marketing push has been massive this time around with trailers and TV spots airing on a consistent basis since late last year, social media trends aren’t measuring up to what we typically would expect for such a hard promotional push. For example, Fallen Kingdom registers 18 percent off the week-of-release relevant tweet pace of Thor: Ragnarok and 38 percent behind the Twitter footprint of a fellow Pratt-led sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Although the film has performed well in many overseas markets already (getting a leg up on the World Cup taking place for the next month), Kingdom‘s Rotten Tomatoes score of 57 percent may be scaling back some fan interest in North America. The sequel has been a strong international performer thus far, though, opening to a strong $112 million in China over the weekend and standing north of $370 million overseas thus far.
Pixar v. Dinos: Round 2
Further crimping the sequel’s style will be the performance of Incredibles 2, which blew past expectations and delivered a record animated opening of $182.7 million this past weekend. Strong word of mouth and four-quadrant appeal on a level rarely seen for the animation medium should continue driving the Disney/Pixar blockbuster to a big sophomore frame, which will add another roadblock for Fallen Kingdom in its quest to attract both family audiences and action/adventure fans.
In fact, this weekend’s headliners will mirror the epic June 2015 showdown at the summer box office between Jurassic World and Inside Out. When the latter debuted in the former’s second frame, the two films combined for nearly $197 million in weekend earnings all by themselves.
Barring an under-performance by Jurassic, it and Incredibles 2 should register more than that this weekend as the latter aims for the biggest second weekend ever by an animated film (and possibly the biggest non-#1 weekend gross of all-time, currently held by Inside Out itself with its $90.44 million opening).
If the Pixar sequel can beat Finding Dory‘s 46 percent second weekend drop, it would be the first time two films have earned $100 million+ each on the same weekend. (That’s a very optimistic scenario, though.)
For those reasons, other films in the market could be hit hard again, while projections for the big two are made even more challenging because of the potential audience crossover. The recent spew of franchise sequels may also have viewers less hungry for another one right now, particularly given moviegoers’ increasing awareness of pre-release reviews.
All told, there are enough signs to warrant a slightly lower tracking range than had previously been indicated for Kingdom. In addition to our social media models, traditional tracking is skewed depending on what comparisons one uses. While Kingdom is only a few ticks behind Guardians 2 and tracking ahead of Deadpool 2, it’s generating interest levels “only” somewhat ahead of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The bright side: Jurassic World itself proved to deliver significant walk-up business as it vastly over-performed against tracking on its way to the record three years ago, a fact which can be partly attributed to this franchise’s reliance upon casual moviegoers more than die hard fans wary of spoilers. Chris Pratt remains very popular thanks to his presence in this franchise and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and could be a key reason why this sequel will still attract a variety of moviegoers looking for popcorn entertainment over the weekend (World‘s first weekend audience was comprised of 52 percent men and 48 percent women).
Combined with its overseas run, Fallen Kingdom should prove to be another lucrative entry in the franchise for Universal before moving ahead with their planned Jurassic World 3, slated for a 2021 release.
Top 10 Comparisons
Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will earn an estimated $240 – 260 million. The low end of that range would represent an 85 percent increase from the same weekend last year when Transformers: The Last Knight debuted as part of an overall $130 million post-Father’s Day weekend.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, June 24||% Change from Last Wknd|
|Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom||Universal||$129,000,000||$129,000,000||NEW|
|Incredibles 2||Disney / Pixar||$90,000,000||$354,500,000||-51%|
|Ocean’s 8||Warner Bros.||$10,000,000||$98,700,000||-47%|
|Solo: A Star Wars Story||Disney / Lucasfilm||$4,200,000||$202,300,000||-58%|
|Superfly||Sony / Columbia||$3,300,000||$15,600,000||-52%|
|Avengers: Infinity War||Disney / Marvel||$3,000,000||$670,000,000||-45%|
|Won’t You Be My Neighbor?||Focus Features||$1,800,000||$4,100,000||+83%|