Weekend Box Office: JURASSIC WORLD Bites Off Third Win

     June 28, 2015


As we told you yesterday, the box office projections for first and second place this weekend were very close. They just weren’t close enough to knock Jurassic World out of the top spot. Universal is reporting a third-weekend estimate of $54.2 million for its blockbuster, or a drop of 49%. For those keeping track, that makes this the third weekend in a row that the dinosaurs have ruled the box office – another impressive feat to add to Jurassic World’s giant list of accomplishments.

Assuming chart positions do not change when final numbers are released on Monday, why is a third weekend in first place so impressive? It’s an achievement that few films reach during the summer months. That’s because the summer schedule is designed to give big titles a maximum of two weekends to shine before the next potential blockbuster comes up to bat. In the past decade only four other summer releases have stayed in first place for three consecutive weekends. Three of the four (The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Marvel’s The Avengers) rank among the top ten domestic earners of all time. It’s fitting, then, that Jurassic World, which currently ranks fifth on that all-time list, has also claimed a third-straight win.

inside-out-posterIn second place, Inside Out was down 42% with its sophomore estimate of $52.1 million. That decline falls in the average range for Pixar releases. Last summer’s Monsters University was down 44.7% in its second frame while 2010’s Toy Story 3 (which holds Pixar’s highest grossing and biggest opening records) dropped 46%. Even among the studio’s standalone titles (not part of a series, in other words), Inside Out does not disappoint. While The Incredibles and Up both held better (28.7 and 35.2% respectively), Brave and WALL-E were each down 48% in their sophomore frames.

So far, Inside Out is the only Pixar title that has not hit number one (yes, even A Bug’s Life came out on top when it went wide in 1998). Of course, that has more to do with the extraordinary box office performance of Jurassic World than anything else, but it still makes for an odd statistic.

With that said, it also puts Inside Out in-line to take down one of the box office’s longest-standing records: the highest-grossing movie to never hit number one. Since 2002, that title has been held by My Big Fat Greek Wedding, with $241.4 million. With its total already at $184.9 million after 10 days, it’s clear that Inside Out can surpass that final gross. But will it do it without ever taking first place? Depending on how audiences react to Terminator: Genisys and Magic Mike XXL next week, Inside Out has a shot at winning the top spot over the July Fourth weekend – especially if it can keep from falling more than 35%. I’m not betting against Pixar, but taking Wedding’s record would be a nice consolation prize for this most unusual blockbuster.

ted-2-posterIn another unusual box office occurrence (at least if you happen to follow studio tracking), Ted 2 has fallen short of the lowest end of its pre-release projections. According to studio estimates, the sequel earned $33 million from 3,442 locations. That’s below even the low-end projections we reported yesterday.

A few short weeks ago, Ted 2 was the obvious choice for number one this weekend with at least $55 million. If you were around in the summer of 2012, you will recall that Ted – the first feature film from writer/director Seth MacFarlane – was a breakout box office hit. The R-rated comedy opened in first place with $54.4 million on the pre-Independence Day frame and went on to earn over $218 in North America and nearly $550 million worldwide. Numbers like that demand a sequel, and we all know that the main job of any ‘Part 2’ is to improve upon it’s predecessor’s earnings. So how is it that Ted 2 managed to fall so short of that goal?

To start, the record-breaking run of Jurassic World was something few of us saw coming. Universal (the studio behind both JW and Ted 2) may have chosen to shift its schedule if it had known the dinos would remain so dominant. Then there’s the fact that MacFarlane’s reputation has suffered a bit since 2012. In 2013 he hosted the Oscar telecast, to near universal disdain. Then, last summer, he released his first fully live-action feature A Million Ways to Die in the West. Audiences were not impressed. The comedy debuted with $16.8 million and ended its domestic run with $43.2 million: barely above its $40 million budget. Clearly, Ted 2 will surpass A Million Ways at the domestic box office, but that’s like telling a sad friend: “Well, at least you don’t have cancer.”

In fourth place, Warner Bros.’ family drama Max debuted with an estimated $12.2 million from 2,855 locations. Based on a viral photo showing a military service dog guarding his master’s casket (just some light fun for the kids!), the PG-rated Max came in right in the middle of its $10 – $15 million weekend projection.

Overall, this weekend added $180 million to 2015’s summer box office tally. That’s equal to the same frame last year, when Transformers: Age of Extinction ruled with its $100 million debut. Neither of next week’s new titles will reach triple digits, unfortunately. On July first, both Terminator: Genisys and Magic Mike XXL will hit theatres. In terms of their first Friday- Sunday runs, the latest Terminator title should bring in $35 million with Magic Mike in the $30 million range. That leaves some room for Inside Out and Jurassic World to stay on top and, after the thrashing that greeted Ted 2 this weekend, it wouldn’t surprise me to find a holdover still in charge seven days from now.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Jurassic World $54,200,000 $500.1
2.  Inside Out $52,100,000 $184.9
3.  Ted 2 $33,000,000 $33
4.  Max $12,200,000 $12.2
5.  Spy $7,800,000 $88.3
6.  San Andreas $5,275,000 $141.8
7.  Dope $2,862,000 $11.7
8.  Insidious Chapter 3 $2,025,000 $49.8
9  Mad Max: Fury Road $1,735,000 $147
10.  Avengers: Age of Ultron $1,643,000 $452.4


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