Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World
With its box office total of over $650 million this summer, Jurassic World became the third-highest grossing film at the worldwide box office behind behind James Cameron’s two titans Avatar and Titanic. Even though the film was not directed by Steven Spielberg – who first helmed the franchise in 1993, the year he also released Schindler’s List – it is a massive hit Any film this successful is obviously going to have great effects on Hollywood. The success of The Hunger Games resulted in the Divergent and Maze Runner series, while The Avengers ensured that every Marvel superhero will get automatic consideration for a summer-movie slot.
The success of Jurassic World is going to have the least effect on its leads, whose fates in Hollywood were sealed well before they starred opposite CGI dinosaurs. Bryce Dallas Howard has spent the past decade as a reliable player in productions such as The Help, and previous leading ladies in the franchise, Laura Dern and Julianne Moore, received high paychecks but little career boost from acting opposite the dinosaurs. Chris Pratt may fare better as the dashing hero, but even the career boost he received may be minimal. His role in Jurassic World seems less a star-making one than a star-cementing one after his performance last year in Guardians of the Galaxy. Had Pratt lost the role to another Hollywood Chris – whether Evans, Hemsworth or Pine – his status as a leading man would still be secure.
This is not the case for director Colin Trevorrow, however. Trevorrow could have been a disastrous choice for the reboot. His only previous feature was the charming but slight time-travel comedy Safety Not Guaranteed with sitcom stars Jake Johnson and Aubrey Plaza. Affection for the franchise may have ensured that any Jurassic Park reboot would have a sizable opening-weekend gross, but Trevorrow can take credit for the good word-of-mouth that allowed it to nearly outgross Titanic. This makes it natural for Trevorrow to shift from rebooting Spielberg to rebooting George Lucas. He is set to direct the final installment of the third Star Wars trilogy, to be released in 2019.
The real effect of Jurassic World may not be cementing the stardom of Pratt and Howard, or even making Trevorrow a name that draws in mainstream audiences. The real effect may be paving the way for a spate of remakes of every possible action film from the 1990s done in the early years of CGI, whether the various action films of Arnold Schwarzenegger or cult offerings like Stargate. Nostalgia seems to peak around a 20-year cycle, so studios high on the prospect of remaking those films without ceding a chunk of the gross to Spielberg’s directing fee are inevitably going to do so. Audiences are no longer going to need to break out the DVD to reminisce over their favorite ‘90s film. Jurassic World has guaranteed that they will see those films again very soon.
Jurassic World releases on DVD Oct. 20.