Jurassic World Dominion Takes An $18 Million Bite Out Of The Box Office In Thursday Previews

"Jurassic World Dominion" is looking to keep a very big summer at the box office going strong as it arrives on more than 4,000 screens this weekend. It was always all but guaranteed that this movie was going to be a huge hit, but it is coming out of the gate very strong with $18 million worth of ticket sales from Thursday preview screenings alone. That sets it up for a dino-sized opening weekend haul that may well exceed pre-weekend tracking.

The $18 million figure was reported by Variety, with the outlet also noting that "Dominion," the third film in the "Jurassic World" franchise and the sixth in the series overall, is expected to take in $125 million this weekend. Or perhaps it might be better to say was expected as the preview screenings indicate we could see a massive number come Monday morning. For the sake of comparison, 2015's "Jurassic World," which remains one of the highest-grossing movies in history, grossed $18.5 million in Thursday preview screenings on its way to a record-breaking $208 million opening weekend. 2018's "Fallen Kingdom" took in $15.3 million in previews en route to a $148 million opening.

That being the case, the $18 million preview number posted by director Colin Trevorrow's latest implies that it could easily exceed that $125 million estimate at the domestic box office. For what it's worth, the film already got off to a solid start internationally. Despite earning largely unfavorable reviews, Universal Pictures is about to have another huge hit on its hands.

A seemingly bulletproof franchise

It's tough to know when the gas will run out and, in some ways, this film is being billed as a conclusion of sorts for the "Jurassic" series. That said, despite "Fallen Kingdom" and "Dominion" earning very poor reviews, the franchise keeps chugging right along and making more money than just about any other movie series out there this side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's pretty damn remarkable.

In this case, the prospect of seeing Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum reunited for the first time since "Jurassic Park" as Ellie Sattler, Alan Grant, and Ian Malcolm was pretty tantalizing. Not to mention the whole dinosaurs being out in the real world hook. There's no telling how much goodwill that will buy the film but, at least in the early going, that has rendered critical opinion obsolete. The second weekend will be the real test.

The cast also includes Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Isabella Sermon, Campbell Scott, Justice Smith, Scott Haze, Dichen Lachman, and Daniella Pineda. Trevorrow penned the screenplay with Emily Carmichael ("Pacific Rim: Uprising").

"Jurassic World Dominion" is in theaters now.