Jurassic World Dominion devoured $18 million in Thursday evening previews at the North American box office as it stomped into theaters across the U.S. and Canada.
Several weeks ago, Top Gun: Maverick started off with $19 million in previews on its way to a $160 million opening over the long Memorial Day weekend, including $126.7 million for the three days.
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Tracking shows Dominion opening to $125 million domestically, which would be notably behind 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($148 million) and 2015’s Jurassic World ($208.8 million). Bullish pundits believe that number is far too conservative, however, considering that Thursday’s $18 million in previews paced ahead of Fallen Kingdom ($15.3 million).
But it remains to be seen if poor reviews hurt turnout. Dominion presently has a 34 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest of any title in the iconic dino series.
One advantage is that Dominion will take away Imax and premium large-format screens from Top Gun: Maverick. Another advantage: Actors Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and BD Wong are reuniting for the first time since starring in director Steven Spielberg’s first Jurassic Park (1993).
Director and Jurassic World architect Colin Trevorrow, after sitting out Fallen Kingdom, returns to helm Jurassic World Dominion, the final title in the Jurassic World trilogy that has been anchored by actors Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
This time out, the dinosaurs live — and hunt — alongside humans all over the world. Jurassic World Dominion boasts never-seen dinosaurs and new visual effects.
The movie will have no trouble taking the top spot on the chart away from Top Gun: Maverick, which is heading into its third weekend.
Dominion had already taken in more than $55 million internationally across 15 markets, with strong openings last weekend in South Korea and across Latin America, including Mexico and Brazil.
The movie began launching in a raft of other markets this week for a foreign tally of $95.1 million through Friday.
Dominion is one of the few Hollywood tentpoles to get a release date in China, where it posted an opening day gross of $15 million.
While that’s behind Fallen Kingdom, Jurassic World Dominion will easily rank as the biggest Hollywood opening in China this year, topping The Batman’s lackluster $12.1 million China debut in March. (Some of 2022’s top Hollywood earners like Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick and Marvel’s Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness have been denied China releases by Beijing regulators due to political reasons.)
Dominion is contending with a far more depressed China film market, however. Although many urban centers, including Shanghai, are emerging from recent, economically damaging COVID lockdowns, approximately 23 percent of cinemas across the country remain closed as a public health precaution and consumer activity continues to be suppressed.
June 10, 12 p.m.: Updated with revised weekend estimates.
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