Last year, Chris Pratt established himself as a movie star with Guardians of the Galaxy, the highest-grossing Marvel Studios film that didn’t star Robert Downey Jr. Before it came out, Guardians felt like a gamble, an offbeat leap of faith by a studio hoping that its brand was powerful enough to carry a film featuring a guy known for being funny on TV and a talking raccoon to box office victory. Well, Marvel was right, and it’s got more than $700 million in Guardians of the Galaxy box office returns to prove it.
After the question of Guardians of the Galaxy’s viability was answered, another question took its place: Was Chris Pratt really a movie star now, or would he stumble when he came out from under the safety of the Marvel umbrella? To be fair, Jurassic World might not entirely answer this question, since it also carries the might of box office branding, both through the Jurassic franchise as a whole and through the Almighty Spielberg. It’s also safe to say that quite a few people turned out because they wanted dinosaurs, and not Chris Pratt. Throw all the caveats you want onto the fire, but one thing is now inescapable: Chris Pratt is bankable as hell.
Over the weekend, Jurassic World set not one, but two colossal box office records. In North America, the film brought in an estimated $209 million, and if that number holds, it means Pratt and his raptor pals broke The Avengers’ record ($207.4 million) for the biggest domestic opening weekend ever. On the global front, the film opened at number one in 66 different territories, pulled in $100 million in China alone, and became the first movie ever to make $500 million in a single weekend.
So, that makes three things really clear. One: The film will hit $1 billion very fast. Two: A Jurassic World sequel is inevitable. And Three: Chris Pratt is, for the moment, the World’s Biggest Movie Star.