‘Jurassic World’ bites off biggest global debut of all time

Publicity photo courtesy Universal Pictures

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dinosaurs are anything but extinct at the box office.

“Jurassic World,” the fourth film in the series, became the highest global opener of all time with a staggering $511.8 million in its first days in theaters.

It also devoured a domestic box office record with a $208.8 million take in its first weekend in U.S. theaters, Universal Pictures said Monday. That’s the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time.

“Marvel’s The Avengers” had previously held the domestic opening weekend record. That film opened to $207.4 million in 2012.

It has been 14 years since there has been a new “Jurassic” film in theaters, and the combination of cinematic grandeur, nostalgia and awareness helped “Jurassic World” far surpass analyst predictions going into the weekend, which had the film on track for a $125 million opening.

“This over-performed in a way that I’ve never seen,” Rentrak’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian said. “It broke the box office sound barrier.”

Universal Pictures and Legendary co-financed the $150 million, PG-13 rated film. Audiences in every quadrant turned out to see the film in theaters. According to exit polls, 39 percent were under the age of 25, signifying the massive interest of both a new generation and the continued enthusiasm of those who saw “Jurassic Park” in 1993.

Also, audiences shelled out the extra money to see the film in the biggest format possible. About 48 percent of domestic audiences opted for 3D.

Hawaii locations on Kauai and Oahu played a big part in the movie, standing in for the fictional and remote Isla Nublar.

More than two decades earlier back in September 1992, Hurricane Iniki destroyed a number of movie sets on Kauai for the original “Jurassic Park” that was directed by Steven Spielberg.

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