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Box office preview: Jurassic World eyes $125 million opening

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Chuck Zlotnick

So far, this year’s summer box office has been a bit underwhelming. For the past three weekends, box office totals have been down from last year, and Memorial Day weekend was one of the worst in years. There have been a few bright spotsspecifically San Andreas, Pitch Perfect 2, and Mad Max: Fury Road—but for the most part, the summer blockbusters haven’t really been, well, blockbusters.

So if anyone can save us from bad box office numbers, it’ll be Chris Pratt and some man-eating lizards. Opening in 4,273 theaters, Jurassic World is Universal Pictures’ widest release ever, and as the only major new release this weekend, the question isn’t whether it’ll be No. 1, but rather just how big it will be. (Sundance favorite Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is also opening in a handful of theaters.)

Overseas, Jurassic World has already made a dent in the international box office, opening in a few countries yesterday like China and France. It’s already made $17.3 million in China, making it the country’s sixth biggest foreign film debut of all time.

Here are our predictions for how the box office race might play out:

1. Jurassic World — $125 million

Universal is cautiously predicting a debut somewhere above $100 million, but early box office tracking has Jurassic World bringing in about $125 million this weekend — or more. If it performs as expected, it’ll break the current record for a June premiere: 2013’s Man of Steel, which made $116.6 million.

2. Spy — $17.5 million

The latest from Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy opened slightly below predictions last week, bringing in $29.1 million for the weekend. Still, past McCarthy-led films like Tammy and The Heat have only dropped about 40 percent in their second weekend, and if Spy does the same, it’ll bring in about $17.5 million.

3. San Andreas$12.9 million

Two weeks ago, San Andreas opened to a surprisingly high $54.6 million, and it’s held up fairly well, making $25.8 million in its second weekend. But San Andreas is going to face its first real competition this weekend with the release of Jurassic World, another PG-13-rated action movie, and most are predicting a drop of about 50 percent.

4. Insidious Chapter 3 — $7.9 million

Horror movies tend to open with strong ticket sales but taper off quickly, and although Insidious won the box office last Friday, by the end of the weekend, it was only in third place with a total of $22.7 million. Similar films like Insidious Chapter 2 and the recent Poltergeist remake each tumbled 65 percent in their second weekends, which suggests that the latest Insidious will too.

5. Mad Max: Fury Road — $4.3 million

For the first time since they both opened, Mad Max finally (and barely) beat Pitch Perfect 2 at the box office. Max has held up remarkably well week-to-week, and it should hang on to its fifth-place spot, dropping about another 45 percent this weekend.

That being said, there’s a chance that Jurassic World opening as another action movie could force Mad Max to drop even lower, which means the fifth-place spot could actually go to Entourage instead. Still, it’s unlikely: Entourage did better than expected with a $5.4 million Wednesday opening, but by the time the weekend rolled around, Vincent Chase and company floundered, only bringing in $10.3 million

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