By any standards, both the Jurassic Park franchise and the Star Wars franchise are world-beating film portfolios. Star Wars in particular is unmatched in terms of sheer iconic appeal. George Lucas made his first Star Wars film in 1977, instantly capturing the hearts and minds of a generation. Since then, a further six films have been added to the story and the eighth, The Force Awakens, was released Christmas 2015. Harrison Ford returns as Han Solo who leads a team facing evil Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) whose army of Stormtroopers threatens to destroy all that the Force must protect.
The Jurassic Park franchise began in 1993, with the original film’s story built around the disaster that ensues when scientists visit an island theme park that’s home to dinosaurs. In June 2015, the latest film of the Jurassic Park franchise was released to huge success. This film, Jurassic World, sees Chris Pratt take the role of Owen Grady, a raptor trainer who must save a luxury resort from the clutches of genetically engineered dinosaurs. It was an instant hit during its opening weekend in North America, smashing a record set in 2012 by Avengers Assemble and commanding $208 million.
The question is, will the release of Star Wars’ latest installment, The Force Awakens, enjoy the same exceptional box office success? Disney, the studio behind the film, is widely expected to see its product soar higher than any film has ever gone before. Despite some predicting it would enjoy a record $615 million opening globally, it only managed to scrape past Jurassic Park’s opening weekend takings by $4.1 million (they achieved $528 and $524.9 million respectively).
Right now, it’s impossible to compare the two films’ long term performances as Star Wars: The Force Awakens has not yet been released a month. However, as market analysts IG have stated, Star Wars success will have a significant impact on the share value of the studio that releases it. In the case of Star Wars:The Force Awakens and Jurassic Worldthe two studios with bated breath are Disney and Universal respectively. Jurassic World claimed the third spot in all-time box office rankings when it came out in summer 2015, netting $39 million gross in box office sales in Australia alone. Worldwide, that figure was a gargantuan $1.7 billion. During the seven days after the film was released, Universal saw its share price rise by 3.9%.
Although opening weekend sales managed to stutter past the finish line, some say that it’s not a given that The Force Awakens will automatically break all previous records. As well as the fact that summer blockbuster releases are generally more successful than Christmas ones, there’s also more competition in the colder months. However, until the film has had a good amount of time in the cinema globally, we’ll just have to wait to see whether The Force Awakens or Jurassic World is the overall franchise champion.