Last year’s quite a few previously established franchises found new life, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Jurassic World. For the latter, something unexpected happen, as the film broke several box office records on its way to an amazing $1.67 billion dollars. I guess looking back on it today, its not really that surprising to see Jurassic World gross that much money. Fourteen years stand between that film and the previous Jurassic Park film, and in that time audiences fell in love with action spectacles featuring robots and giant monsters (Pacific Rim, Godzilla). The time came for dinosaurs to once again rule the box office.
Jurassic World 2 is on its way, and my biggest question is in regards to where this franchise goes next? The first film was able to go back to the island of dinosaurs breaking loose and attacking its visitors because of the nostalgia factor and real time plot events. The next film is surely going to go bigger in terms of setting, with dinosaurs becoming a global threat. Director J.A. Bayona steps in for Colin Trevorrow (Star Wars Ep. IX), and has a few indie films on his resume that are loved by critics.
Directors usually aren’t the ones who concern me regarding big-budget blockbusters, and I’m excited to see what Bayona brings to the franchise. Its studios nowadays who seem to mismanage these franchises after one successful film. Their way of thinking is “bigger is better”, and for Jurassic World 2 that means increasing a production budget from the first film by $110 million, to a now reported $260 million.
This report comes directly from a comment in a recent interview with Bayona. The director also confirmed that a proper title has been chosen for the sequel. Maybe this is just me, but I feel like they wasted the World title on the first film that had very little impact on the world thus far. All I know is the title better not include the words Rise, Dawn, or Age because those titles are played out. Either way, the title is the least of my worries.
Studio execs already trying to destroy their franchise
A reported budget of $260 million for the sequel is concerning for a couple reasons. First, I personally think Jurassic World is an overrated film, with few awesome moments in a bad script. Trevorrow made the most from what he was given, which makes the film watchable. Bottom line is JW doesn’t hold up upon repeated viewings, and benefits the most from nostalgia and Chris Pratt. For the sequel, the studio will only be able to lean on one of those.
Second, a budget increase of over $100 million an only mean one thing. Over saturation of dinosaurs. My biggest problem with JW was plot, and how lazy it felt. Bayona is a proven director when the script is strong. This franchise going to need less genetically freakish dinosaurs and more characters to care about outside of Pratt.
Lastly, Universal is probably thinking this sequel can at least match the gross of the first film ($1.6B). I’m giving the sequel a 60% chance to crack $1 billion at the box office, but once again the nostalgia factor dying off makes it unlikely to break records. An increase in production budget alone shrinks their window for profit. Regardless of what I think, the Jurassic World franchise is only getting started. It has all the potential to spawn several films, and hopefully Universal plans out this franchise wisely.