Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is now unleashed upon North American theaters, and the results thus far are solid, but far from earth-shattering. The film earned an estimated $15.3 million on Thursday night from 3,600 theaters, expanding to 4,450 locations on Friday and adding another $55 million. If the rest of the weekend plays out as expected the dino-sequel will end up with around $135 million at the end of its domestic opening weekend. For comparison’s sake, 2015’s Jurassic World tallied $18.5 million on its Thursday debut, adding $82 million on Friday while steamrolling to a record-breaking (at the time) $208.8 million opening weekend.
There are several key factors to remember when comparing Fallen Kingdom‘s box office to the first Jurassic World film. Jurassic World benefitted from a 14-year gap between Jurassic Park movies; the hype generated by the time the movie launched was substantial, and the realization of seeing a successful dino-filled park open to the public proved irresistible to the general public. Jurassic World also opened to less competition, hitting theaters 6 weeks after box office smash Avengers: Age of Utron, while Fallen Kingdom follows not only Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, but also Solo: A Star Wars Story and Incredibles 2. Finally, the reviews just haven’t been that great for Fallen Kingdom (it currently sits at 50% positive on Rotten Tomatoes), and a sizable portion of those who saw Jurassic World for the novelty-factor experienced mixed feelings about the quality of the film, which no doubt caused hesitation when ads told them to get excited for the sequel.
Before you shed any tears for the movie execs who financed the film, note that after two weeks in release overseas, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has brought in over $450 million. This total includes an estimated $170 million haul from China. According to Deadline, the production cost for Fallen Kingdom was $187 million. While the sequel may not attain the worldwide success of its $1.672 billion-earning predecessor, Fallen Kingdom is still dino-soaring to a respectable position in the box office history books.