It's exactly one month ago today since Jurassic World hit theatres. To say that the impact it made in that short space of time has been phenomenal would be an understatement. In four weeks, the film has broken records that most films never break during their full theatrical run. It had the biggest opening weekend ever in North America, the highest-grossing opening worldwide and the quickest film to earn $1 billion. As of today, it has grossed $1,465,838,000 worldwide and is currently sitting comfortably as the fifth highest-grossing film of all time.
Now, cinema experts predicted big things for Jurassic World but nobody saw the epic trail of destruction it would create as it broke every record thrown at it. It has dominated the box-office for the last four weeks despite facing opposition from Disney's Inside Out and the most recent installment in the almighty Terminator franchise, Terminator Genisys. But the dino-flick held it's own and destroyed the competition. We're one month on from it's release and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down, which leaves many wondering: Why didn't we see it coming? Here are some of the potential reasons as to why Jurassic World was the success it has been:
1. Jurassic Park
Okay, this is the obvious one. Nobody was looking forward to Jurassic World more than the Jurassic Park devotees. The original Jurassic Park was not only revolutionary for the film industry but it became the highest-grossing film of all time (and held that title for four years before being knocked off by Titanic). The film is over 22 years old and time has not aged it - with special effects and animatronics that rival, if not best, some of today's films, Jurassic Park is still as much of an awe-inspiring sight as it was back in 1993. It spawned two sequels that were entertaining but did not match the sheer awe of the original. So with 22 years of fans, two sequels and effects that revolutionised film, it's no surprise that the loyal fanbase would flock to the theatre to see the newest installment of this beloved franchise.
2. 14 Years of "Development Hell"
A lot can happen in 14 years. And a lot did. Jurassic Park III was released in 2001 to mixed reviews from critics. Many disliked the lack of character development or the lack of a new plot, but the one main criticism was the treatment of the almighty T-Rex (the Spinosaurus defeated the Tyrannosaurus after snapping it's neck, ending the JP hero's brief 2 minute stint in the film). They thought people wanted a new hero...they didn't. However, the film was a box office success, pulling in $368 million worldwide. But the question was posed: where do we go next? An original Summer 2005 release was planned (which would continue the 4 year release pattern) but the film entered a decade of "development hell" after extensive rewriting, re-drafting and other issues. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel and in 2013, Jurassic World was announced for a 2015 release. Now, 14 years is a long time and after even the most lacklustre sequel (not that Jurassic Park III was that bad), a 14 year wait can create a buzz that a 2-3 year wait could not. Imagine all the children and film fans that could have joined the JP fandom over the years. It's no surprise that the fanbase is stronger than ever!
Jurassic World is strictly a sequel to the original Jurassic Park. Although it does not necessarily discount The Lost World: Jurassic Park or Jurassic Park III, it does not refer to them or Site B (Isla Sorna). It stricly focuses on the beloved island from the first film (Isla Nublar). Taking the franchise back to it's popular roots makes a compelling reason as to why it was such a success. This is highlighted through numerous sequences in the film (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!) such as: when Zach and Gray stumble across the original park from the first film and use the infamous banner (that triumphantly fell over the T-Rex back in 1993) as a flaming torch. Or when they see the Raptor design in the food hall, or the fact that the T-Rex in Jurassic World is the same T-Rex from Jurassic Park (clear by the scars on her neck which she got during her fight with the Raptors). Even when the T-Rex makes her trumphant entrance with a roar, she is posed in the exact same way as when she roared her way out of the fence in the first film.
4. The Cast
The cast of Jurassic World did a fantastic job! Really, they were brilliant. The team behind casting also did a fantastic job! Why? Because the cast was fantastic and had a lot of star power! First and foremost, Chris Pratt is one of the hottest stars in Hollywood right now! He has become such a leading man as of late (mainly thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy) and let's face it, girls love him. Star Power like that will definitely draw people to see your film. Plus, he did a great job! Bryce Dallas Howard was perfect for this role. She was already an instantly recognisable name and after this film, that has been reinforced. Plus, in this film, there are times, particularly towards the end, that she resembles Laura Dern. She also did a great job. Jurassic World's casting team was very kind to TV Stars. In mere months, Vincent D'Onofrio is widely renowned as the evil Kingpin, Wilson Fisk from [Daredevil (Netflix)](tag:1168702). The attention this role garnered for him definitely could have worked in Jurassic World's favour. Thus featuring him in a prominent role was a great idea. Nick Robinson who plays Zach Mitchell is also no stranger to TV. He grew up on TV's hitcom Melissa and Joey, playing Melissa Joan Hart's hilariously naive nephew Ryder. He also made waves in the film world by starring in the critically acclaimed The Kings of Summer. Adding a young actor with quite the fanbase behind him was also another creative stroke of genius. And next year, he is set to star in the film adaptation of Rick Yancey's hit novel The 5th Wave. So allow me to be bold and suggest that he may be the one to benefit from the spotlight of Jurassic World the most because it's clear to see that Nick Robinson will be sticking around. Jake Johnson of TV's popular New Girl was brilliant as Lowry. And let's face it, everybody loves Nick in New Girl. Adding these three recognisable TV stars to the film would definitely increase it's wider appeal. Ty Simpkins is also recognisable as the kid from the Insidious movies and from Iron Man 3. It's clear that a lot of effort went into the casting process of Jurassic World and those in charge chose brilliant recognisable actors from both film and TV. The wider the scope, the wider the appeal.
5. Family Appeal
Let's face it even with the Dinosaurs, the Jurassic Park franchise has always been conisdered a family franchise. So now with this new film finally being released after 14 years of virtually nothing, it's no surprise that it exploded the way it did. Over the 4th July weekend, the new releases were unable to topple Jurassic World and Inside Out. Why? Because during the 4th July weekend, families dominate the cinemas and families always flock to see the Jurassic Park films. Admittedly, this one was a little darker than the rest but it obviously hasn't affected it's gross as it is now the highest-grossing film of the Jurassic Park franchise.
6. The New Dinosaur
The Jurassic Park films have never created a genetically modified hybrid before. So it was a genius move to release this information to the public in the trailers. Plus, keeping the Indominous' appearance a secret for the majority of the pre-release period would have made people even more interested in seeing what the creature actually looked like.
7. The Old Dinosaurs
Nothing more to say here. I'm a sucker for the T-Rex and as long as there's a Jurassic film with the veteran dinosaurs present, we will all pay to see it!
8. The Reinvention
Jurassic World is different from every other Jurassic Park film. This isn't a simple chase story, a rescue mission or a rehash of the other films. This film starts off as a success story that slowly descends into chaos. Changing the premise was a much-needed change that distanced itself from the two sequels (that were by no means bad) and brought the franchise back to it's roots - the theme park.
These are just some possible reasons as to why Jurassic World became the smash hit that it has. No matter what your outlook on the film is, there's no denying that it has reinvigorated the Jurassic Park franchise. To think that back in 2001, the fourth Jurassic Park film was supposed to end the franchise and now, Jurassic World has rebooted a world that we have managed to fall in love with all over again and opened the door to endless possibilities for sequels. The Lost World has been found again.