Jurassic World: Rebooting the Popular 1990s Franchise

Variety reports:

“Jurassic World,” the latest installment in Universal’s 1990s franchise, bows on June 12, but pre-release tracking suggests a strong opening weekend of $100 million or more.

This is an impressive debut for a franchise that hasn’t released a new chapter since 2001. “The trailers are connecting in such a big way,” Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, told Variety.

Pre-release ticket sales have been robust since they began May 15, and Fandango reports that the film is one of its top five best sellers this week.

Though the first film, directed by Spielberg, shattered box office records and the second installment, also directed by Spielberg, was the third highest grossing film of 1997, ticket sales began to decline by the time “Jurassic Park III” hit theaters in 2001. That film grossed $181 million domestically, the lowest figure for any film in the series.

While Spielberg remains an exec producer, Universal jettisoned the original cast and instead brought in indie director Colin Trevorrow (“Safety Not Guaranteed”) and new leading man, Chris Pratt, whose star power rose with “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Promotional materials for the tentpole, based on the Michael Crichton novel, have shrewdly played on nostalgia, with trailers prominently featuring shots of the park’s iconic jungle gates and a piano version of John Williams score, while also introducing new dinosaurs such as the hybrid creature Indominus rex.

Posters have included Pratt flanked by velociraptors and an arresting image of an aquatic reptile called a Mosasaurus about to chow down on a shark

“Jurassic World” carries a hefty $150 million budget, which means it will need to be a global for Universal to recoup its investment.

The likely success of “Jurassic World” continues what is one of Universal’s best years in recent memory. The studio is in second place behind Disney in terms of market share and has fielded a number of major successes such as “Furious 7,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and “Pitch Perfect 2,” along with a few misfires such as “Blackhat” and “Seventh Son.”

The rest of the summer looks equally promising. The studio’s slate includes “Minions,” a spin-off from the “Despicable Me” series; “Ted 2″; and the rap drama “Straight Outta Compton.”

If “Jurassic World” surpasses $100 million in its opening weekend, it will be the third film of the year to hit that mark, behind “Furious 7″ and Disney’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”