Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is going to be violent and intense, promises the MPAA. The Motion Picture Association of America has officially rated the upcoming sequel, the fifth entry in the Jurassic Park franchise overall, PG-13, for "intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril." That sounds like what audiences have come to expect from the dino-centric series over the years, but the real question is, can this movie actually justify its existence beyond making Universal a whole lot of money?
The explanation for the MPAA's rating doesn't come as a surprise. At bare minimum, watching dinosaurs run around on an island, or in the case of Jurassic World 2, quite possibly on the mainland, chasing humans and killing people is going to warrant some intensity, violence and peril. It's also worth mentioning that the four previous entries in the Jurassic Park franchise were all rated PG-13 as well. This is a series that can't quite get away with PG and be any fun and doesn't really need to go for an R, unless they really want to ratchet up the violence. But that's not what these movies are about.
Director J.A. Bayona has said that this movie will be darker than Jurassic World, and it's also not going to be the end of the dinosaur-filled movies either. Universal recently announced that Jurassic World 3 will arrive in June of 2021, with Colin Trevorrow, who directed the first Jurassic World, returning to helm the final installment of this new trilogy. He's set to co-write the final movie with franchise newcomer Emily Carmichael. So the studio is banking on this upcoming entry to be a big hit. But that's not really a surprise, given what happened with the previous movie.
Following the release of the disappointing Jurassic Park III in 2001, which didn't do much for fans or critics and grossed just $368 million worldwide, the studio has trouble figuring out what to do with the movies moving forward. What would ultimately become Jurassic World went through many stages of development, but the idea of seeing a fully functioning dinosaur theme park clearly appealed to moviegoers. It also didn't hurt giving fans a 14-year break to build up anticipation. The result? Jurassic World became one of the highest-grossing movies ever, making $1.67 billion worldwide. That demolished expectations and gave the studio confidence to proceed with the rest of this new trilogy.
But can this be more than a cash grab? Who knows? Heading into the fifth movie, it's become tough to find reasons to mix humans with these killer man-made creatures, but it's been promised that this won't just be dinosaurs chasing people around on an island. Plus, we've got that huge volcanic eruption to look forward to. However the chips may fall, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which arrives in theaters on June 22, has been rated by the MPAA and is complete. Now it's just a matter of waiting to see if this movie can not only be as successful as its predecessor, which is a tall order on its own, but if it can also tell a satisfying story.