Jurassic World Was Box Office Dino-Mite When the Jurassic Park Sequel Opened Five Years Ago Today

Jurassic World resurrected the Jurassic Park franchise when the blockbuster opened on June 12, 2015. The fourth film in the dino-saga inspired by author Michael Crichton's 1990 novel, the Colin Trevorrow-directed Jurassic World takes place in a now fully-operational theme park and habitat for an array of genetically-engineered dinosaurs, including geneticist Dr. Henry Wu's (BD Wong) most vicious creation yet: the Indominus rex. When the creature escapes, threatening thousands of tourists — including brothers Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), visiting nephews of park operation manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) — former military man turned Velociraptor handler Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) must help them survive.

Originally developed as Jurassic Park IV with producer Steven Spielberg, director of 1993’s Jurassic Park and its first sequel, 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, what became Jurassic World considered bringing back paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to investigate dinosaurs that had dinosaurs migrated to the Costa Rican mainland.

Another unused idea saw a new character, mercenary Nick Harris, journey to Isla Nublar and retrieve the stolen dinosaur embryos dropped by Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) in the original movie. Hired by park founder John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), Harris would have encountered a new breed of deinonychus — manipulated with DNA from canines and humans — a genetic experiment spearheaded by maniacal Grendel Corporation CEO Baron Von Drax, who sought to control militarized dinosaurs.

Universal Pictures later hired Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver to pen Jurassic World's screenplay, incorporating Spielberg's ideas for a dinosaur trainer who is involved in the action when a fully-functioning theme park is terrorized by a new breed of man-made dinosaur. When Trevorrow was hired as director, the Safety Not Guaranteed filmmaker rewrote the script with writing partner Derek Connolly.

Jurassic World went on to gross $1.67 billion worldwide, making it the second-highest grossing movie of the year behind another franchise revival, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which earned over $2 billion. That year, Universal's own Furious 7 ranked third with a speedy $1.5 billion, ahead of Disney and Marvel's Avengers sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron, which earned $1.4 billion.

A sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, released in 2018. Directed by J.A. Bayona, the film saw Owen and Claire save wild dinosaurs facing extinction from an imminent volcanic eruption before unraveling a conspiracy involving black market dinos.

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Trevorrow returns as director for Jurassic World: Dominion, reuniting Jurassic Park stars Neill, Goldblum, and Laura Dern as they join the Jurassic World cast. The Jurassic World threequel is currently on a filming hiatus following shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jurassic World: Dominion is currently scheduled to open June 11, 2021.

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