With ‘Jurassic World 3,’ dinosaurs rule again at box office

“Jurassic World: Dominion” took a mighty bite out of the box office with $143.4 million in North American ticket sales according to studio estimates Sunday

Move over Maverick, the dinosaurs have arrived to claim their throne.

“Jurassic World: Dominion” took a mighty bite out of the box office with $143.4 million in North American ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. Including earnings from international showings — the film opened in various markets last weekend — “Jurassic World: Dominion," released globally by Universal Pictures, has already grossed $389 million. And it’s just getting started.

The hefty haul is yet another sign that the box office is continuing to rebound this summer. With the blockbuster successes of films like “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and now “Jurassic World 3,” audiences are coming back to movie theaters more consistently.

This weekend is only the third of the pandemic era in which the total domestic box office surpassed $200 million, according to box office tracker Comscore.

Both “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Jurassic World: Dominion” also represent an important caveat for an industry that continues to learn new lessons about pandemic-era moviegoing every week. Although both films are legacy sequels, neither are of the superhero variety, which, for a long time, had seemed like the only pandemic-proof genre.

“Top Gun: Maverick” is still coasting in rarefied skies too: It fell only 44% in its third weekend with an estimated $50 million to take second place, bringing its North American total north of $393.3 million.

“Dominion,” a co-production of Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, is the third film in the “Jurassic World” trilogy, which began in 2015 and introduced characters played by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. The newest installment brings back actors Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum from Steven Spielberg’s 1993 “Jurassic Park.”

Colin Trevorrow, who stewarded the “World” trilogy and directed the first film, returned to direct “Dominion,” in which dinosaurs are no longer contained and locusts are threatening the world’s food supply.

Critics were not kind to the dino extravaganza, but audiences seem to be enjoying themselves based on exit polls. Moviegoers gave it an A- CinemaScore and an 81% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, suggesting that word of mouth will be strong in the coming weeks. The film opened on 4,676 screens in the U.S and Canada and cost a reported $185 million to produce, not accounting for marketing and promotion.

The filmmakers have said “Dominion” is intended to be the last of the “Jurassic World” films, which have been enormously profitable with over $3 billion in ticket sales. The first earned over $1.7 billion globally alone. Including the original “Jurassic Park” trilogy, that number skyrockets to $5 billion.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

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