Steven Spielberg went to the movies Friday night to see his new horror movie Jurassic Park. So did an estimated 9.6-million people who paid a record-devouring $48.5-million over the weekend to view the heavily promoted feature film that has unleashed a wave of dinosaur-mania across the United States.
The box-office gross is projected to be the highest for any movie in film history for a non-holiday weekend. Saturday's $18-million was the most a movie has ever grossed on a single day.
Spielberg, who slipped into a late evening showing of the film at the Avco Theater in Los Angeles, saw the film for the first time with an audience. He only recently returned from Krakow, Poland, the location of his next film, Schindler's List.
The producer-director's mood was described as "ebullient" by Tom Pollock, the chairman of MCA Inc.'s motion picture group, which includes Universal Pictures, the distributor of Jurassic Park. "Steven was stunned by how great the reaction was," Pollock said Sunday.
When final totals are released today, Jurassic Park is expected to surpass last summer's Batman Returns, which had held the opening-weekend record with $47.7-million. Both films opened on comparable, non-holiday June weekends. The totals for both also include the gross for preview showings Thursday.
1. Jurassic Park (Universal, 1993) _ $48-million to $50-million (estimate _ includes Thursday sneak previews)
2. Batman Returns (Warner Bros., 1992) _ $47.7-million (includes Thursday sneak previews)
3. Batman (Warner Bros., 1989) _ $40.5 million
4. Lethal Weapon 3 (Warner Bros., 1992) _ $33.2-million
5. Terminator 2 (TriStar, 1991) _ $31.8-million
6. Home Alone 2 (Fox, 1992) _ $31.1-million.
7. Bram Stoker's Dracula (Columbia, 1992) _ $30.5-million
8. Ghostbusters II (Columbia, 1989) _ $29.5-million
9. Back to the Future Part II (Universal, 1989) _ $27.8-million
10. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Warner Bros., 1991) _ $25.6 million