Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom debuted at number one at the domestic box office, riding high on nostalgia, mass appeal and Universal’s most expensive marketing campaign to date.
Universal’s hit dinosaur franchise earned $150 million domestically over the weekend pushing Incredibles 2 down to second place. Ahead of its debut, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom relied heavily on its star, Chris Pratt to promote the film on social media with pre-recorded interviews. He may be riding high on a string of successful movies, but Pratt’s charming personality isn’t the biggest star on screen.
“People love dinosaurs,” Karie Bible, box office analyst and film historian at Exhibitor Relations, told AListDaily. “Let’s face it, [the Jurassic Park franchise is] pretty much the same story every time with ‘life finds a way,’ but people [of all ages] love to watch it. It’s what they call a four-quadrant where [a film reaches] every demo—something that studios definitely look for. That’s not easy to find.”
Universal reportedly spent a whopping $185 million to market Fallen Kingdom, making it one of the studio’s biggest-ever marketing and publicity campaigns to date. The most powerful part of the campaign, Bible noted, is the ubiquity of it all—wherever audiences have gone over the past few months, chances are good that Jurassic World marketing was there.
“There’s no way that you can possibly miss it, even if you don’t watch TV. It’s absolutely everywhere,” said Bible. “Basically if you open your medicine cabinet, there’s going to be a dinosaur that pops out at you.”
Universal staged several takeovers, including Kings Cross Station that included a giant T-Rex and Raptor installation, gyrosphere, VR and more. Hundreds of “Blue” the raptor statues were installed across the world in movie theaters and shopping malls.
In the film, dinosaurs are being transported off the island, so Amazon helped out with a marketing campaign called #AmazonFindsAway. The brand delivered a T-Rex to Hollywood, California where it was unboxed live on social media.
— Jurassic World (@JurassicWorld) May 30, 2018
TV spots aired during key sporting events like the Super Bowl and World Cup, the first of which marked a first-time partnership with Jeep for the Jurassic franchise. Doritos delivered giant chips to members of the press and supermarkets have been filled with specially-marked packages of everything from candy to waffles.
But, sometimes the most powerful marketing tool is nostalgia. Jurassic Park celebrated its 25th anniversary this year that included theme park events, social media blasts and fan contests.
The timing of a release doesn’t hurt, either. A blockbuster usually begins to drop off in its second week, but Bible expects Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom to hold its box office course over fourth of July weekend.