Jurassic World Dominion Topped The Box Office But Top Gun: Maverick Is The Real Story

This past weekend was one that many in the industry had been looking forward to for quite some time. "Jurassic World Dominion," which was originally slated to arrive in theaters a year ago, finally debuted after being delayed due to the pandemic. Along with it came a windfall of ticket sales at the box office, with the sixth entry in the dino-filled franchise easily topping the competition. Yet, in a very encouraging sign that the times they are a-changin', "Top Gun: Maverick" managed to do exceedingly well despite the stiff competition. Plus, "Everything Everywhere All At Once" offered its own brand of encouragement to the industry, capping its Cinderella-like journey. Let's dig into the numbers, shall we?

Jurassic World Dominion easily won out, but what's next?

According to Box Office Mojo, director Colin Trevorrow's "Jurassic World Dominion" topped the charts with an estimated $143.3 million haul. That is — make no mistake about it — an excellent figure that any studio in Hollywood would be happy to have against a reported budget of $185 million. Internationally, the film has already racked up $245.7 million for a total of $389.1 million, putting it well on the path to joining the $1 billion club, meaning it would become the fourth entry in the franchise to do so behind "Jurassic Park" ($1 billion), "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" ($1.3 billion), and "Jurassic World" ($1.66 billion).

It is worth pointing out that this is the lowest opening weekend total of the three films in the current trilogy, below both "Fallen Kingdom" ($148 million) and "Jurassic World" ($208 million). That is a bit surprising on the surface as this movie brought back the original cast members alongside the newbies to unite the entire franchise under one roof. Not to mention the promise of dinosaurs out in the real world. That said, critics were very unkind to it, with "Dominion" holding a mere 30% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Though the audience rating is at a solid 79% and it has an A- CinemaScore. A disconnect between critics and general moviegoers, to be certain.

For the moment, Universal Pictures gets to pop champagne and celebrate. The future, however, is a bit more uncertain with questions left dangling. The immediate future concerns the film's second weekend and how it will fare against "Lightyear." Will it take a steep drop like "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?" Or will it manage to hang in there for a few weeks despite the competition? Beyond that, the movie very much serves as a conclusion of sorts, leaving one to wonder what the future of "Jurassic" looks like. It's unlikely the studio will let the series go extinct but, at the same time, it can't possibly get any bigger than this. I don't envy the decision-makers who have to figure out where to go from here.

Top Gun: Maverick continued to soar

Coming in at number two was "Top Gun: Maverick" which, in its third weekend, despite the "Jurassic" competition, added another $50 million to its ever-growing total, dropping just 44.5% from last weekend. That is a gigantic haul and, moreover, it demonstrates how far we've come in the pandemic recovery. The fact that two very different blockbusters were able to make as much money as they did on the same weekend shows that moviegoers are hungry and they are ready to go to the movies again. It's all about programming correctly and giving people movies that are good, actually. Otherwise, we end up with a "Morbius" situation where it gets one good weekend and comes crashing to the ground in the immediate aftermath. It doesn't have to be that way.

The Tom Cruise sequel in just a few weeks has collected a king's ransom, with $393.3 million domestic and $353.7 international making for a $747 million total to date. Frankly, it was hard to imagine this movie would top out at $750 million ahead of its release. But Paramount Pictures is having a storybook year and this is going to go down as one of the studio's biggest hits ever. It should sail to $1 billion easily in the coming weeks and, amazingly enough, has a real shot at being the top-grossing movie worldwide for 2022. Just incredible stuff. Even in a weekend dominated by a reliably huge franchise, "Top Gun: Maverick" is the bigger story here. Moreover, the fact that there was room for both films this weekend offers a lot of hope for the future, both in the immediate sense and long term.

Everything Everywhere All At Once is A24's new box office champ

In more good news, "Everything Everywhere All At Once" continued its glorious run as 2022's indie darling. The sci-fi flick earned another $1.2 million domestically, good enough for the number seven spot this weekend. But the big story here is that its global total now stands at $83.4 million, officially making it A24's highest-grossing release ever. It surpassed "Hereditary" ($80 million) to take the crown. It has, against seemingly all odds, become the little movie that could.

Honestly, in the post-pandemic world, it was starting to seem like original ideas were going to have to languish in the streaming realm, or be made for such small budgets that it would be nearly impossible to lose a lot of money on them. Yet, here we have a wildly original, $25 million sci-fi movie that became a true word-of-mouth hit. If there is a single movie that demonstrates that cinema can have a future beyond superheroes, it may well be this movie.

And the rest...

Whereas there was a big level of encouragement with the top two movies this week, the problem comes when looking at the rest of the chart as the other eight movies in the top ten made less than $15 million combined. That is an issue that the industry still has to contend with but vast improvement doesn't happen overnight. One step at a time. Rounding out the top three was "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" with $4.8 million, bringing its global total to $930 million. It should clear $950 million before all is said and done, but $1 billion is just about out of reach.

"The Bob's Burgers Movie" came in at number four with $2.3 million and, sad to say, this one is flaming out fast. At $27 million domestic and almost nothing internationally to speak of right now, this is not the hit that Disney wanted and I would expect to see it on streaming, be it on Hulu or Disney+, sooner rather than later. Rounding out the top five was "The Bad Guys," Universal's animated flick that just won't quit, with another $2.2 million. It should hit $225 million in the coming days as it gets near the end of its theatrical run. A sequel would not surprise me at this point.

Looking ahead, Disney gets another bite at the summer box office apple with Pixar's "Lightyear" this weekend. Will it have enough juice to take the top spot? Things are going to get interesting.