The dinos should take a big bite out the U.S. box office this weekend — just not as big as Jurassic World did three years ago.
Prerelease tracking suggests that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will debut to $130 million to $140 million in North America. That compares to a mega-debut of $208.8 million for Jurassic World in summer 2015, which, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, benefited from pent-up demand for a franchise that had long been absent from the big screen.
Last year's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the official sequel to Force Awakens, opened 11 percent behind Force Awakensin North America, or $220 million versus $248 million. If Fallen Kingdom opens in line with tracking, it is looking at a decline of 31 percent to 36 percent in ts domestic debut.
Jurassic World 2, from Universal and Amblin, has already earned more than $435 million overseas, where it began rolling out two weeks ago.
This time out, directing duties belonged to Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona (The Impossible). Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard once again lead the cast, while Daniella Pineda, Rafe Spall, Isabella Sermon, James Cromwell and Geraldine Chaplin are among the actors joining the franchise for the first time.
The story follows Pratt and Howard's characters as they rush to help rescue the dinosaurs on the abandoned island of Isla Nublar after a volcano erupts. They uncover a menacing conspiracy, however, when the evacuation leads to a secret dino-encampment on the mainland of America.
Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley produced Fallen Kingdom, with Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow (who helmed Jurassic World) executive producing.
Jurassic World, which revitalized the long-dormant franchise, ultimately grossed $1.671 million at the global box office, one of the top showings of all time, not adjusted for inflation.
No other movie will dare to open opposite Jurassic World 2. However, that doesn't mean the dinos won't have competition. Disney and Pixar's Incredibles 2 is poised to do formidable business in its sophomore outing — think $80 million to $90 million, one of the biggest second weekends of all time — after blowing past all expectations in debuting to a record-shattering $182.7 million.
Among other high-profile holdovers, John Travolta's mob biopic Gotti heads into its second weekend.
There will be a handful of new offerings at the specialty box office, including Magnolia's Damsel, an indie Western starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska.
Sony Pictures Classics' Boundaries, a feel-good dramedy starring Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer, also is set to bow in five theaters. Late Wednesday, Sony Classics said it would still release the film despite a disparaging tweet by Peter Fonda — who plays a supporting role in the film — about Barron Trump, son of President Donald Trump. Sony Classics said it wouldn't alter the movie, but stressed that Fonda's comments regarding the young Trump were "abhorrent and reckless."