Throughout box office history, there have been certain truths that—despite some exceptions—seem to reinforce the preferences of the movie-going public. People, for the most part, love monsters, aliens, and robots (and now superheroes), and will generally watch something containing one of those elements. And why shouldn’t they? Those elements have always managed to capture the public’s imagination with relative ease, which is usually an important aspect of the modern-day blockbuster. Some twenty years ago, director Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) added a new member to that list with Jurassic Park, effectively showing the world the box office appeal of dinosaurs in a way no director had done before. Fast forward to this past weekend, with Jurassic World—the fourth installment in the franchise—successfully reinforcing the public’s fascination with dinosaurs in a huge way: the film has set the box office record for the biggest opening of all time, with a domestic haul of $208.8 million.
That opening was enough for Jurassic World to overtake 2012’s The Avengers, which garnered a $207.4 million opening weekend domestically. The film also set a global record with a $524.4 million debut.
Of course, all of this is great news for Universal Studios, which is having a massive year between the success of Jurassic World and their April release Furious 7. It also all but solidifies more sequels, which already wasn’t in any doubt, as star Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) had stated he was on board for more upcoming sequels to the franchise.
1993’s Jurassic Park proved to be a huge draw for Universal at the time, with the film finishing as the number one grossing film of the year both domestically and abroad. While the follow-ups—The Lost World and Jurassic Park III—were successes as well, neither of them managed to have the box office impact of the original, and the franchise had been dormant since 2001. Now, however, with the mega-debut of Jurassic World, the franchise has certainly been revitalized, and audiences shouldn’t expect to wait another fourteen years for a sequel. And with another bona fide franchise in their hands, Universal may be looking into fleshing out a cinematic universe for the films, perhaps even focusing on spin-offs of some sort. Either way, all of this is great news for Universal Studios, which doesn’t have the commodity of superhero properties that some of the other large studios have.