Universal have released Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom two weeks early in the UK and much of Europe in an attempt to beat the mad rush of football available at the 2018 FIFA World Cup (which starts Thursday 14th June). As such, their exploding island dinosaur movie sequel has come into competition with the likes of Solo: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War for screens in British cinemas. Just how much did this effect Jurassic World 2’s opening, and could it make the top 5 highest grossing opening weekends of 2018 thus far?
Debuting at the top spot from an accumulation of £14,334,894 (including previews), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom set the third highest opening total of the 2018 calendar year following Infinity War (£29.4million) and Black Panther (£17.7million), but what makes for better reading for distributors Universal is the traditional Friday to Sunday three day period from which Fallen Kingdom set the 2nd highest total gross.
The highest earning Friday-Sunday (3-day) opening weekends 2018:
- Avengers: Infinity War – £23.1million
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – £10.6million
- Black Panther – £10.5million
Despite the positive news, Fallen Kingdom has fallen behind its franchise predecessor Jurassic World, with the Colin Trevorrow directed soft-reboot totalling at £19.4million including previews, some £5million ahead of J.A. Bayona’s effort. This drop of 37% may prove a crucial blow to any aspirations Universal may have had regarding Fallen Kingdom hitting the heights of its predecessor – which earned £64.3million overall during its run and is now the 13th highest grossing UK release of all time – but with the World Cup due to begin, the dino-sequel has zero mainstream studio competition on the horizon for the coming weekend, with the next big release Ocean’s 8 not hitting cinemas until Monday (18th June). You could consider this an open goal…
Internationally, Jurassic World has been rolled out across almost all major markets apart from North America and China, grossing a total of $150million (£112million) to date without the two traditionally most lucrative markets. With a China release coming this Friday (15th June) and the North American release occurring the weekend after, it is expected that this number will triple by the beginning of July, though stiff competition from the World Cup and The Incredibles will likely put the $1.67billion total gross of Jurassic World beyond it.
In North America, it was Ocean’s 8 that took advantage of the lower than expected takings of the absence of JW2 and the lower than expected performance of Solo to steal a $41,608,378 opening weekend, setting the highest opening weekend gross of any Ocean’s movie, the 2nd highest Warner Bros. opening weekend of 2018 and the 2nd highest opening gross of any Sandra Bullock-led live-action movie (behind Gravity $55.8million). With tradition dictating that higher earning opening weekend films from the Sandra Bullock catalogue traditionally reach at least $150million in North America alone, the signs look good for Warner Bros. who may already be looking at green-lighting a sequel despite the movie not yet opening in international markets, owing the decision to the likelihood that this movie turns a profit on the $70million production budget (expected $125million overall budget including promotion) from its North American box office receipts alone.
The North American statistics made for more bad reading for Solo: A Star Wars Story this week, which earned around $15.5million Friday to Sunday to only just pip Deadpool 2 ($14.2million – released one week earlier) and A24 small-budget horror movie Hereditary ($13.5million – debuting) to the number 2 spot on the box office chart. Solo now sits at $176million overall from its 17 day run, a total eclipsed by fellow A Star Wars Story release Rogue One which was sat at $421million at the same stage of its run in 2016.
In the UK Solo isn’t faring much better, suffering a large drop of 62% this weekend to earn £1,192,220 in just its third weekend, taking the movie’s overall UK total to £16,390,659, barely £2million more than the 5 day debut of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. By comparison, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was sitting at £52.1million at the same stage during its run at the UK box office, a total that is £35.7million higher than that of Solo.
And finally as regards the top 5 of this week’s chart, Avengers: Infinity War pushed to £69,563,230 overall here in the UK to break into the top 10 all-time highest grossing movies list, surpassing Mamma Mia! and Beauty and the Beast (2017) to hit 9th place overall. Worldwide, it also took home the milestone of becoming only the 4th movie in history to gross $2billion worldwide and is now chasing down Star Wars: The Force Awakens to become the 3rd highest grossing film of all time and set the record for Disney’s best ever box office return.
Here are the 15 highest grossing movies at the UK box office this past weekend (8-10th June 2018):
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – weeks on release: 1 – weekend: £14,334,894 – total: £14,334,894
- Solo: A Star Wars Story – 3 – £1,192,220 – £16,390,659
- Deadpool 2 – 4 – £1,182,010 – £29,042,739
- Book Club – 2 – £507,917 – £2,037,605
- Avengers: Infinity War – 7 – £406,119 – £69,563,230
- Sherlock Gnomes – 5 – £301,555 – £7,580,001
- Blade Runner: The Final Cut – £226,459 – £4,064,682
- Show Dogs – 3 – £201,435 – £2,549,449
- Kaala – 1 – £158,275 – £158,275
- McQueen – 1 – £131,278 – £131,278
- Event Cinema: Coppelia – Bolshoi 2018 – 1 – £96,840 – £96,840
- I Feel Pretty – 6 – £96,138 – £5,252,238
- Veere Di Wedding – 2 – £92,455 – £92,455
- On Chesil Beach – 4 – £51,016 – £786,420
- Carry on Jatta 2 – 2 – £42,250 – £42,250
The biggest news from outside of the top 5 comes in the impressive top 10 debut of Alexander McQueen documentary McQueen which earned an impressive (for a documentary) £131,278, though Bollywood action flick Kaala actually out-grossed the picture by close to £30,000 to earn the right to call itself the 2nd highest grossing movie of the weekend (after Jurassic World 2 of course).
Overall, the box office market was up a staggering 85% from last week and earned 49% more than the adjacent weekend from 2017, which saw The Mummy debut at number 2 behind Wonder Woman (see the chart video here).
Next week, we won’t have the debut of The Incredibles to discuss as regards the UK market, but all of the facts from the pre-sale record setting North American release will be available. The biggest questions heading into the coming weekend are: will Fallen Kingdom be able to set a strong enough 2nd weekend to realistically challenge Infinity War and Black Panther at the top of the annual chart? How bad does the reading get for Solo? And, does Infinity War surpass The Force Awakens on the all-time worldwide chart?
Check back next week for all the answers.
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