The prehistoric times — along with the 1990s — came back to life to save a stalled 2015 summer box office as “Jurassic World” (Universal) surpassed all expectations with a staggering $82.8 million first day (including $18 million+ from Thursday night early shows). It nearly doubles the record for best June opening day (previously “Man of Steel” at $44 million) and stands as the third best Friday ever (“Avengers: Age of Ultron” did $84.4 million a few weeks ago as second best).
The bigger than expected result, with a strong family interest and vacation playtime, should benefit “Jurassic” over the weekend to challenge “Ultron” as best 2015 opener ($191 million) and give it a chance to overtake the Marvel film as the year’s top grosser (currently at $442 million).
“Jurassic” swamped an otherwise uneven Top Ten yesterday, taking in 83% of the total of just over $100 million, a big jump from $66 million the same Friday last year. This breaks a scary multi-week streak of disappointing overall results (despite some individual successes) at a crucial time, with other potentially strong releases in the wings (“Inside Out” and “Ted 2” right ahead).
Whether the trend of bigger-than-average second (and later) week drops continues will also determine the overall health of upcoming business. Last week’s openers were well below their initial days, although #2 “Spy” (20th Century Fox), with $4.8 million yesterday, is likely to have a three-day drop under 50%. “Insidious Chapter 3” (Relativity) in fourth managed only $2.7 million, down from its $10.5 opening, while “Entourage” (Warner Bros.) placed sixth with $1.4 million ($3.7 last Friday).
“San Andreas” (Warner Bros.) nabbed $3.1 million for third place, down sharply from $7.7 million last Friday. The standout hold was “Pitch Perfect 2” (Universal) in fifth and $2 million, down less that 25%. Seventh to ninth all were just over $1 million — “Mad Max: Fury Road”(Warner Bros./$1.2 million), “Tomorrowland” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (both Buena Vista releases, just under $1.1 million).
“Love and Mercy” (Roadside Attractions) edged into tenth place with $475,000 in 573 theaters (adding 91). This was a decrease from $636,000 opening Friday, but still a respectable hold.
Sundance standout “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (Fox Searchlight), the top new limited opener, had a promising start with $69,000 in just in 15 theaters.