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When Jurassic World debuted three years ago it went on to become one of the highest grossing films ever made. Expectations are certainly high for the sequel and while Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom didn't have quite the same preview night opening that the original movie had, it still put up some impressive numbers, bringing in $15.3 million at the domestic box office.
The first Jurassic World movie brought in an impressive $18.5 million on its preview night in 2015, but that was part of an opening weekend that was the biggest of all-time at the time the movie was released. It would have been a fairly tall order for the sequel to put up those sorts of numbers. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is projected to see a low-end opening weekend of around $130 million, compared to the $208 million the first film did. However, those Thursday numbers are actually significantly higher than what Deadline was tracking the movie to do last night, so it's possible the film could end up doing significantly better than expected.
If the early screening numbers from Fallen Kingdom make up the same percentage of the film's total business for the opening weekend, then it looks like the film may greatly exceed the low-end projections, though it will still come up significantly short of the first film. Of course, the film has already been available in some overseas markets for a couple of weeks, so all this is just in addition to the $450 million the movie has already made. While Fallen Kingdom may not be the record breaker that the first Jurassic World was, it's already a massive hit in its own right.
The only real competition that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will have is Incredibles 2 which opened last weekend. It set records for animated openings and is still tracking ahead of Finding Dory to be Pixar's highest grossing movie of all time. As a PG-rated family movie, it certainly has the broader audience to draw from, but it would have to put up numbers on par with its opening weekend to have a chance at winning a second weekend in a row, and that's not going to happen.
If there's an X-factor for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, it's that the new film hasn't reviewed as well as the previous effort. It's hard to say how much of an impact that will actually have. Lots of summer spectacle movies are "critic-proof" and end up butting up huge numbers even though reviews can be far from kind. Sometimes you just want to see massive dinosaurs eat people on a big screen and the quality of the rest of the movie isn't relevant.