Universal rolled out its highly-anticipated Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in theaters last night for Thursday sneak previews, and as expected, it fell short of its 2015 predecessor, Jurassic World. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom took in an impressive $15.3 million from Thursday sneak peeks, just below the $18.5 million that Jurassic World earned in 2015, en route to a then-record opening weekend of $208.8 million. Box office analysts are predicting an opening weekend between $130 million and $140 million for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which doesn't have as good of reviews as its predecessor but it does have a much wider release.
Jurassic World 2 will arrive in 4,475 theaters, making it the second widest release in history, behind last year's Despicable Me 3 (4,529 theaters), edging out this year's Marvel blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War by just one theater (4,474 theaters). Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has currently split critics right down the middle with a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, far less than Jurassic World's 71% RT score. Regardless, it's the only movie opening in theaters this weekend, and it's expected to fare quite well, although it has already more than doubled the $170 million budget from its impressive performance overseas.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opened several weeks earlier in a number of international markets, to avoid competing with the World Cup, and it has taken in a whopping $450.1 million in international markets. While it's projected to open with far less than its predecessor, it will be interesting to see if it can still come close to Jurassic World's worldwide tally. Jurassic World earned $652.2 million domestic and a whopping $1.019 billion from international markets for a global total of $1.671 billion from a $150 million budget.
The sequel is already on track to earn more than its predecessor in China, after an impressive $111.6 million debut, which is a bit higher than the $99.1 million debut of Jurassic World back in 2015. Jurassic World went on to earn $228.7 million in the Middle Kingdom throughout its run in 2015, and given its higher opening weekend, it's possible that the sequel could out-gross its predecessor in China. Then again, with the World Cup in full swing, which is far more popular in other parts of the world than in the U.S., it's possible the sequel could suffer in China because of World Cup fever, and the impending summer "blackout" of Hollywood films that happens every year at the end of June.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom brings back Chris Pratt's Owen Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire Dearing from the original Jurassic World. The sequel also brings in franchise newcomers such as Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine and, returning from the original Jurassic Park movies, Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's Thursday box office tally.