‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.’

Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World was such a global phenomenon in 2015 – amassing $US652 million in the US and more than $US1 billion internationally – the top brass never expected the sequel to reach those lofty heights.

Even so, executives are thrilled with the mammoth debuts of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in the US and Australia last weekend after making a small fortune in other markets.

In Oz the T-Rex action/adventure directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, A Monster Calls) was so dominant, the other new releases Edie and Ideal Home were crushed while Foxtrot did OK. The Jacobson brothers’ comic drama Brother’s Nest had a subdued opening but is generating positive reactions (see separate story).

The top 20 titles collectively rang up $21.7 million, up 13 per cent on the prior weekend according to Numero. Fallen Kingdom captured $10.3 million from Thursday-Sunday and $11 million including the Wednesday previews, trailing Jurassic World’s $16.07 million opening weekend.

In the US the blockbuster starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith and Geraldine Chaplin nabbed $US148 million, Universal’s second-highest-opening ever, 28 per cent below that of Jurassic World.

Including three weekends of international release that brings the global total to $US711.5 million and it means the franchise created 25 years ago by Steven Spielberg has earned more than $US4.4 billion.

The latest instalment is darker than Jurassic World, much of the action takes place outside the Isla Nublar setting, and it’s competing for the family audiences that are flocking to Incredibles 2.

The Disney/Pixar release directed by Brad Bird collared $6.5 million, down 38 per cent from its first weekend which was a studio record for an animated title. The superhero comedy voiced by Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell and Samuel L. Jackson has minted $19.7 million in Oz, $US350.3 million in 10 days in the US and $134.6 million internationally.

The Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Pictures comedy Ocean’s 8 advanced to $13.3 million after scoring $1.54 million in its third outing, falling by 42 per cent. Gary Ross’ heist caper, which stars Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling, has mustered $100.3 million in the US and $71.3 million in the rest of the world.

New Line’s comedy Tag fetched $611,000 in its second weekend, sliding by 45 per cent, taking its earnings to a fair $2.06 million.

Fox/Marvel’s Deadpool 2 ascended to $35.2 million after banking $405,000 in its sixth orbit. The superhero action/comedy has hauled in $707 million worldwide, with international’s $403 million outgunning domestic’s $304 million.

Disney and Lucasfilm execs reportedly are rethinking the future of the Star Wars franchise in light of the indifferent results for Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. The origin story has grossed $202.2 million in the US and $151.3 million internationally, including Australia’s $16.5 million after five weekends.

Writer-director Ari Aster’s horror/thriller Hereditary dropped by 46 per cent in its third weekend to $325,000, which brings the total to a decent $2.8 million for StudioCanal.

Roger Michell’s feature documentary Tea with the Dames has pocketed a modest $1.37 million for Transmission after making $160,000 in its third weekend.

Another title pitched at mature cinemagoers, road movie The Leisure Seeker held reasonably well in its second weekend, fetching $156,000 (off 31 per cent), cruising to $528,000 for eOne.

In the slipstream of Hereditary, Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade plunged by 65 per cent to $107,000 in its second weekend, drumming up $554,000 thus far for Madman Entertainment. However the sci-fi thriller is a hit in the US, collecting $11.48 million.

Director Simon Hunter’s Edie stars Sheila Hancock as an elderly woman who sets out to fulfil a life-long dream by climbing a Scottish mountain after the death of her controlling husband. She employs young Jonny (Kevin Guthrie) to help her prepare for the gruelling climb, sparking an unusual friendship. It sounds appealing but the Rialto release generated just $61,000 on 55 screens and $71,000 including previews.

Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd play a testy gay couple who wind up as caretakers of a 10-year-old boy in writer-director Andrew Fleming’s comedy Ideal Home. Again, a seemingly appealing cost and storyline but the Icon title garnered $47,000 on 55 screens and $68,000 with previews.

Fairfax Media’s Paul Byrnes hailed Israeli writer- director Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot as an “extraordinary film, far from easy, ultimately thoughtful and hard to forget.” The drama about a couple who are told their soldier son has been killed yielded $42,000 on 14 screens with previews for Sharmill Films.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *