Jurassic World was expected to be one of this summer’s biggest blockbusters, but few (if any) could have predicted the kind of success it went on to have. Colin Trevorrow’s highly-anticipated sequel capitalized on the nostalgia moviegoers had for the brand by shattering the box office record books. During its first three days of release, it set new marks for international opening ($511 million) and domestic opening weekend ($208.8 million) and is showing no signs of slowing down.
With the sci-fi film making money faster than any movie in Hollywood history, it’s fair to raise the question of whether or not Jurassic World can actually overtake James Cameron’s Avatar and become the highest-grossing film ever made. To do that, Jurassic World would have to gross in excess of $2.7 billion globally, but at this early stage in the game, anything is possible.
The Wrap did a breakdown of the situation to see how good its odds are. Based on Jurassic World‘s current trajectory, it’s conceivable that the film crosses $1 billion during its second weekend, which would make even more box office history. In April, Furious 7 became the fastest to $1 billion after only 17 days of release, but with the way Jurassic has been performing during the week (it’s now up to $278 million in the States), that mark is in danger of being topped.
The second weekend gross is going to be very telling in regards to Jurassic World‘s chances. While many expect the film to repeat in the top spot this week, there’s some debate as to how much it will actually bring in. The current second weekend record is held by The Avengers at $103 million, but Earth’s Mightiest heroes faced significantly weaker competition than Chris Pratt’s raptor buddies will see. As opposed to something like Dark Shadows, Jurassic World will be challenged by Pixar’s Inside Out, the first film in two years from the animation powerhouse that is generating rave reviews.
Even if Jurassic World is able to beat Inside Out in the weekend showdown, the family film can still do a lot of damage to Jurassic‘s record-breaking prospects. That movie is currently predicted to make $65 million in its first three days, which is more than what the rest of the top 10 made combined during that second Avengers weekend. So it’s certainly in the realm of possibility that Jurassic won’t be able to top that figure. The typical tentpole drop off after its hyped release is usually in excess of 50 percent, and the dinosaurs need to hit 50 percent even to break the second weekend record.
Herein lies the main difference between Avatar and Jurassic World. While the latter came out in the middle of the summer (always a playing field with stiff competition), the former took advantage of the winter moviegoing season. For an extended period of time, Avatar was really the only “must-see” option for moviegoers, as the 3D epic provided a breath of fresh air during the doldrums of January, when moviegoing business is slower. It also had an unprecedented streak of 11 weeks in which it did not fall 30 percent from the previous weekend, and stayed in the top 10 for 14 consecutive weeks. Longevity is the key to becoming the all-time box office king, and not everyone’s convinced Jurassic World (which stormed out of the gate) has what’s necessary.
So the reality is that there probably won’t be a new highest-grossing film… yet. In December, Disney will release a little project called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has been generating all kinds of excitement for three years. If Jurassic World was able to post those kinds of numbers in the summer, who knows how much J.J. Abrams’ space opera will bring in. Time will tell of course, but if any film’s going to best Cameron, the safe money is on Han Solo.
Jurassic World is now playing in theaters worldwide.