‘Dominion’ dominates ticket sales over ‘Maverick’

Move over Maverick, the dinosaurs have arrived to claim their throne.

“Jurassic World Dominion” took a big chunk of the box office with $143.4 million in North American ticket sales, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Including revenues from international screenings – the film launched in various markets two weekends ago – “Dominion”, released worldwide by Universal Pictures, has already grossed $389 million. And it’s only just started.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Jim Orr, head of national distribution at Universal. “‘Jurassic World Dominion’ had a very large and ridiculously enthusiastic following.”

The jackpot is another sign that the box office continues to rebound this summer. Featuring blockbuster hits from movies like “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2022/jun/17/dominion-dominates-ticket-sales-over-maverick/”Top Gun: Maverick” and now “Dominion”, audiences return to theaters more regularly.

The film, which had an advertised price of $185 million excluding marketing and promotion costs, opened on 4,676 screens in US and Canadian theaters, beginning with previews on June 9. The audience was 56% male and 54% over the age of 25, according to Universal.

Critics haven’t been kind to the dinosaur extravaganza, but audiences seem to be enjoying themselves based on exit polls. Moviegoers gave it an A-CinemaScore and an 81% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, suggesting word of mouth will be strong in the weeks to come.

“You want to see dinosaurs on the big screen no matter what critics think,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore.

And many moviegoers have opted for the biggest screens possible. Worldwide, IMAX screenings of “Dominion” accounted for $25 million of the total. The 3D format also accounted for around 25% of global ticket sales.

“The appetite for the colossal creatures in this franchise is still voracious, and the way audiences want to experience this film is in 3D,” Travis Reid, CEO and President of Cinema for RealD, said in a statement.

“Maverick” and “Dominion” are an important caveat for an industry that continues to learn new lessons about filmmaking in the age of the pandemic every week. Although both movies are legacy sequels, neither is of the superhero variety, which for a long time had seemed like the only pandemic-proof genre.

“Maverick” also continues to roll in rarefied skies: It fell just 44% in its third weekend with around $50 million to take second place, bringing its North American total to 393.3 millions of dollars. “Doctor Strange 2,” in its sixth weekend, was a distant third with $4.9 million.

Last weekend was only the third in the pandemic era in which the total domestic box office topped $200 million, according to box office tracker Comscore. The others were “Spider Man: No Way Home”, in December, and “Doctor Strange 2”, in May. But this is the first time there’s been room for two films to succeed.

“Almost every big blockbuster weekend we’ve had during the pandemic has been dominated by a single movie,” Dergarabedian said. “In this case, we have two big blockbusters in theaters at once. This is the recipe for success that theater owners have been waiting for during the pandemic. This is an important step.”

Colin Trevorrow, who wrote the “Jurassic World” trilogy and directed the first film, has returned to direct “Dominion,” in which dinosaurs are no longer contained and locusts threaten the world’s food supply.

The filmmakers said “Dominion” was intended to be the last of the “Jurassic World” movies, which were hugely profitable with over $3 billion in ticket sales. The former earned over $1.7 billion worldwide alone. Including the original “Jurassic Park” trilogy, that number skyrockets to $5 billion.

“Dominion” should continue to perform throughout the summer, Orr said. Universal Pictures also has a number of diverse, high-profile, theatrical-only releases coming in the coming weeks, including horror film “The Black Phone”, https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2022 /jun/17/dominion-dominates-ticket-sales-over-maverick/”Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Nope” by Jordan Peele. And this vote of confidence in cinemas is promising.

“It’s a great start to our summer,” Orr said.

This week, “Dominion” and “Maverick” will take on “Lightyear,” the family spinoff of “Toy Story.” The film from the Pixar division of the Walt Disney Co. is based on the character Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story.”

Herman C. Harkins