© Reuters. Cast members Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, Scott Haze, BD Wong, Elva Trill, Daniella Pineda, director Colin Trevorrow and screenwriter Emily Carmichael pose for a picture while attending a premi

By Rebecca Rubin

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – “Jurassic World Dominion” stomped to the top of box office charts, scoring a massive $143 million in its domestic box office debut.

Despite blistering reviews, the sixth film in Universal’s dinosaur saga is looming large over a sizzling weekend at the domestic box office. It’s only the third time in the pandemic era that ticket sales have collectively eclipsed the $200 million mark, according to Comscore. That’s also thanks to the enduring popularity of “Top Gun: Maverick,” which is still flying high in second place.

Even with the near-deafening roar of “Jurassic World,” Tom Cruise’s beloved blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” stayed strong, adding $50 million from 4,262 North American cinemas in its third weekend in theaters. That’s a huge turnout for any film at this point in its theatrical run, but it’s even more impressive to pull in those numbers at a time in which “Dominion” is also packing a major punch at the box office.

By comparison, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” grossed $56 million in its third weekend, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” drummed up $32 million in its third weekend, and “The Batman” with Robert Pattinson collected $36 million in its third weekend. With $50 million between Friday and Sunday (a 44% decline from last weekend), “Top Gun: Maverick” has generated a staggering $393.3 million to date.

For “Dominion,” initial box office returns represent a slight decline in popularity, though the big-budget tentpole is still raking in huge amounts of money. To be fair, the latest installment in the prehistoric series has some Triceratops-sized footprints to live up to at the box office. “Jurassic World,” which rebooted the popular “Jurassic Park” trilogy in 2015, opened to a gargantuan $208 million and ended its theatrical run with $653 million in North America and $1.6 billion globally. Its sequel, 2018’s “Fallen Kingdom,” debuted to a softer-but-still-spectacular $150 million and tapped out with $417 million domestically and $1.3 billion worldwide.

“This is an excellent opening,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “Reviews are weak, but that has never stopped these beasts.”

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