Box Office: ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ Opens With $56 Million Overseas

There are no major new wide releases this weekend, at least not in North America. Although to be fair, A) nobody wants to be sandwiched between Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion and B) Warner Bros. opening Elvis this weekend (which otherwise might have made sense after a Cannes debut and its success opening Wonder Woman on this frame back in 2017) would have been a problem due to Top Gun: Maverick’s overwhelming popularity among older/infrequent moviegoers. Still, history is made when studios try out off-season/unconventional weekends. Think Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on Labor Day 2021, Gravity in early October of 2013, The Last Samurai in early December of 2003 or It in the post-Labor Day weekend in 2017. Surely there’s a world where Disney’s terrific Rescue Rangers movie or one of 20th Century’s copious Hulu-bound studio programmers (Prey, The Princess, The Valet, Fire Island, etc.) might have made a dent in theaters.

Anyway, Universal opened Colin Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael’s Jurassic World: Dominion into 15 overseas markets over the weekend in advance of its global launch almost everywhere else (North America, China, etc.) this coming week. The third Jurassic World movie (or sixth Jurassic Park flick) earned $55.5 million overseas, which is a rock-solid debut for a film still expected to be the summer’s biggest global grosser. Yes, that it’ll A) play in China and B) may do pre-Covid era business in China akin to F9 or Godzilla Vs. Kong will give it an advantage in raw global grosses. Jurassic World earned $227 million out of $1.671 billion in China in the summer of 2015 while Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom earned $267 million out of $1.308 billion there in the summer of 2018. Neither $150-$170 million film needed China to be ridiculously profitable, so nobody should panic if it plays closer to Free Guy ($95 million in 2021) than Venom ($269 million in 2018).

The one big newbie by default was Neon’s Crimes of the Future. David Cronenberg’s return to body horror, a sub-genre he somewhat invented (or at least popularized to the point where his last name is shorthand for it) springs from a screenplay he wrote almost 25 years ago. The small-scale, claustrophobic melodrama, about people performing selective, transformative surgery as a skewed kind of performance art, stars Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and, in a scene-stealing turn of unapologetic wit, Kristen Stewart. As expected for an arthouse horror flick from a critical darling filmmaker, the film earned $1.1 million in 773 theaters this weekend. It’ll be on PVOD in a few weeks. It’s not Cronenberg’s best film, and his return to the sandbox can’t help but be compared to both his earlier genre-defining classics and the generation or two of button-pushing filmmakers who followed in his footsteps. No matter, it’s bloody good fun for fans (and Stewart is a hoot).

IFC released Watcher into 764 theaters as a mitzvah before its June 21 VOD premiere. The polished, colorful and refreshingly “big (considering its small-scale story) thriller concerns an American in Paris (Maika Monroe) who suspects that she’s being stalked by a neighbor (Burn Gorman). Chloe Okuno’s feature directorial debut is a solid film, offering a compelling examination of the whole “women have to live with a third eye in the back of their head” situation justifying the big-screen time and expense. That said, this is still an under-the-radar IFC horror movie, so an $ 815,000 weekend gross is business as usual. It’s a good movie and I hope Okuno gets more feature work from its artistic success. Meanwhile, Major, an Indian actioner centered around the 2008 Mumbai attacks, earned $3.4 million in India and $3.5 million worldwide. Way of the Household, a live-action adaptation of a popular manga and anime about a retired Yakuza boss playing “Mr. Mom,” earned $1 million in Japan.

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