'Jurassic World' debut puts big bite in box-office record, tops 'Avengers'

'Jurassic World' debut puts big bite in box-office record, tops 'Avengers'
Indominus Rex prepares to feast. "Jurassic World" grossed a record-setting $208.8 million in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday. (Universal Pictures)

"Jurassic World," the reboot of Steven Spielberg's rampaging dinosaur series, has nabbed the record for the biggest box-office debut.

The creature feature grossed $208.8 million through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, according to figures from Universal Pictures. That was good enough to top the previous record-holder, Marvel's "The Avengers," which took in $207.4 million on its opening weekend in 2012.

Universal previously had estimated a three-day total of $204.6 million domestically, but the movie did better than expected Sunday. That's despite considerable competition from other forms of entertainment — namely Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the season finale of HBO's "Game of Thrones."

The record surpassed even the most optimistic expectations for the film, the first "Jurassic Park" movie since 2001. Most analysts projected an opening of $130 million or so, while Universal had set up an even more modest bar of $100 million.

Directed by Colin Trevorrow and starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, "Jurassic World" received positive-to-mixed reviews from critics. However, it scored an A from audience polling firm CinemaScore, which bodes well for its future prospects.

The movie played across a broad spectrum of people, according to exit poll data. The audience was about 52% male and 48% female. Whites made up a little more than half of the moviegoers. Hispanics accounted for 20%, whereas Asians were 14% and African Americans were 8%.

The movie likely benefited from nostalgia for the 1993 "Jurassic Park," in which Spielberg first introduced his prehistoric theme park to the world. About 61% of attendees were over the age of 25, while 39% were younger than 25.

Audiences oversees also devoured the movie, co-financed by Legendary Pictures. According to final numbers, "Jurassic World" clocked in at $315.3 million over the weekend outside the U.S. and Canada. That puts the total worldwide opening at $524.1 million, the biggest global debut ever.

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