30 Years Ago, Jurassic Park Changed Movies Forever

Universal planned the marketing and release of “Jurassic Park” very carefully given that it was (for the time) very expensive, carrying a $65 million budget which, it’s worth noting, didn’t include marketing costs. Perhaps against traditional logic, the trailers actually didn’t feature the dinosaurs all that much, with the studio opting to take a “less is more” approach. Additionally, they had an absolutely insane number of tie-ins with 100 companies lined up. To say the least of it, the hype for this one was off the charts.

Fortunately for all involved, Spielberg’s miracle of a blockbuster delivered the goods and audiences ate it up. Released in theaters on June 11, 1993, “Jurassic Park” earned an astounding $47 million on its opening weekend. It remained atop the charts for three weeks and didn’t fall out of the top ten until the weekend of October 1. It was a runaway success the likes of which the movie business had never seen before. It ended up becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time up to that point, taking in $357 million domestically and $621.1 million internationally for a grand total of $978.1 in its original release. It dethroned Spielberg’s own “E.T.” which held the record for nearly a decade prior.

Through its various re-releases over the years, “Jurassic Park” has amassed $1.04 billion globally — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Naturally, this became the start of a franchise, with Spielberg returning to direct 1997’s “The Lost World,” which grossed a monster $618 million. To date, we’ve also had “Jurassic Park III,” “Jurassic World,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” and “Jurassic World Dominion,” with the series total standing at more than $6 billion. Say what you will about the sequels, but it ranks as one of the highest-grossing franchises in history.

As for Spielberg’s original? It stands alone as a monument to what cinematic blockbuster entertainment can accomplish.

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