‘Top Gun’ and ‘Jurassic World’ Sequels Could Push June to First $1 Billion Box Office Since 2019

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It would be good enough news for movie theaters that Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion” opened to $143 million this weekend. But the fact that such success hasn’t derailed the momentum of Paramount/Skydance’s “Top Gun: Maverick” may mean that June box office grosses could reach $1 billion for the first time since 2019.

While there have been several major blockbusters that have scored $100 million-plus openings over the past six months, the openings for “Maverick” and “Dominion” have done all the heavy lifting when it comes to movie theater audience turnout. After steep drops from its $187 million opening, Disney/Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” made $20 million on its fourth weekend at the same time that “Top Gun: Maverick” opened to $126.7 million.

In order for this summer to have the kind of box office returns seen prior to the pandemic, holdover grosses need to start increasing. This weekend, theaters finally saw that happen. While “Dominion” continued to prove that “Jurassic World” is a critic-proof franchise by nearly matching the opening of its 2018 predecessor, “Fallen Kingdom,” “Top Gun: Maverick” earned a third weekend total of $51.8 million, better than the $32 million that “Doctor Strange 2” made in its third weekend with no competition from another major blockbuster.

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That result means that “Top Gun: Maverick” has once again held its weekend drop to less than 50%, continuing its historic legs at the box office even after losing premium-format support to “Jurassic World: Dominion.” For the first time since the pandemic began, movie theaters have two very popular blockbusters running at full strength at the same time, and that could mean a monthly overall total of $1 billion for the first time since December 2019, as “Maverick” and “Dominion” alone have combined for $364 million in domestic revenue since June 1.

“June 2022 has already generated more box office in 12 days than the entire month in 2021 and the party will keep going with a solid lineup of exciting and notable crowd-pleasing films landing in cinemas and generating much box office momentum that will carry over into July and August,” Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian said.

“The numerous release date moves by studios reacting to the ever-changing pandemic landscape have created a perfect storm of blockbuster hits one after the next that could wind up making June of 2022 one of the most important and highest grossing ever — an outcome that just a year ago would have been considered unthinkable,” he continued.

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Why ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ Could Be the Next COVID-Era $1 Billion Box Office Hit

Even if “Dominion” can’t replicate the incredible legs that “Maverick” is displaying, all signs point to the Chris Pratt-led sequel performing like a “Jurassic” film, and that means plenty of holdover money for theaters. In its second weekend, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” earned $60 million and went on to finish with a domestic total of $417 million. The appeal of dinosaurs stomping across the big screen clearly hasn’t faded, and with audiences shrugging off negative reviews from critics and giving it strong word of mouth, “Dominion” has a good shot of also reaching $400 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide.

“We were absolutely confident that people want to come back to movie theaters and are just waiting for the right film, and a broad, widely appealing blockbuster like ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ is exactly the kind of film that is meant to be seen on the big screen,” Universal domestic distribution chief Jim Orr said.

So with “Maverick” and “Dominion” set to keep going strong, it’s now up to Disney/Pixar’s “Lightyear” to maintain the momentum going this weekend — and lure a different type of moviegoer. After the success of “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” this spring, hopes are high for the summer animated family films coming up, with “Lightyear” being projected for a $90 million-plus opening.

But to become the fourth $100 million-plus opening of the summer, “Lightyear” will have to stretch beyond families and win over the general audiences that have turned out for summer Pixar films, most notably “Toy Story 4” in 2019. Early reviews have been generally positive with an 81% Rotten Tomatoes score at time of writing, but it will be up to audiences to decide whether they’re up for a different take on one of Pixar’s most famous characters or if this is the sort of film they’ll wait to see on streaming.

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