EXCLUSIVE: Universal is pulling out the stops as its Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom dinos get ready to stomp around the globe beginning June 6. In one of the studio’s biggest-ever marketing and publicity campaigns — which has included global T-Rex and Raptor stunts — stars including Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, and director J.A. Bayona have made the rounds from Madrid to London and Shanghai to get the word out on the follow-up to 2015’s $1.67B global grosser. The film just came on tracking domestically with an early opening range of $130M-$150M. But the beasts will first be unveiled overseas in a staggered release.
While this sequel is not expected to reach the then-record-breaking heights of the 2015 reboot, it’s worth taking note of the effort, and smarts, that have gone into JWFK’s build-up. That’s particularly because this is a campaign so massive on a non-superhero movie and as international markets are hungry for a title to sink their teeth into after the disappointing debut of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Not to mention, there’s a little soccer tournament on deck.
T-Rexes have been showing up around the world to excite fans for the film whose trailer launch was a global week-long event back in December. There were logo projections all week driving to the trailer launch including in LA, NY, London, Chicago, Ireland, Houston, Peru, Milan, Philadelphia, Sweden, Colombia, San Francisco, Seattle, Rome, DC and Korea. Bayona and writer/exec producer Colin Trevorrow also did a Q&A at Sao Paolo’s ComicCon in Brazil.
The trailer debuted during Thursday Night Football, becoming a worldwide trend on Facebook and Twitter. All of the content released that week brought in more than 300M collective views. The international publicity tour then began on May 21 with the world premiere in Madrid. Undeterred by the torrential rain in Spain, a drenched red carpet played host to Pratt, Howard, Geraldine Page, Trevorrow and Bayona. Spain doesn’t typically serve as the global launchpad for a major franchise installment, but Bayona has a homefield advantage there and his 2012 The Impossible is the No. 2 highest-grossing movie ever in the market. Also in Spain, there was a Jurassic takeover of the top talk show, El Hormiguero, which will air June 4.
From Spain, the JWFK folks made their way to the UK where a giant T-Rex floated up the River Thames replete with video of the invasion. Jeff Goldblum also joined Pratt and Howard on The Graham Norton Show.
After Jurassic World made history with a massive takeover of Waterloo Station that included a ‘Raptor Breakout,’ Fallen Kingdom went three times bigger. Universal took over Kings Cross Station with a giant T-Rex and Raptor installation, a light and sounds immersive experience, digital screen domination, an immersion zone in the main tube/rail interchange, a gyrosphere installation and a VR station.
And then it was on to China where the cast appeared on a Jurassic-themed Give Me Five, a popular show akin to The Amazing Race which is seen by 60M. For press from all over China, Korea and South East Asia, Fallen Kingdom took over the Shanghai 1933 restaurant and shop complex and converted it into an in-world experience. There were also 100 Blue Raptors installed in key cinema sites and shopping malls across the country. China was the top foreign market on JW with $229M.
Elsewhere, the dino made his way to some of Europe’s largest shopping malls including Centro Oberhausen in Germany and at Paris’ La Défense.
In another savvy move, Universal scored a primetime Russia TV spot for Fallen Kingdom during the June 14 kickoff game of the World Cup, one of the biggest global viewing events. In Australia, there will also be a spot during the State of Origins Rugby League first game.
Fallen Kingdom starts international rollout on June 6, hitting Germany, France, the UK, Korea, Spain and Russia in its first weekend. It then releases in China on June 15, a week ahead of the North American release on June 22 when it also adds majors Australia, Brazil and Mexico. The release is staggered to get out in front of the World Cup a week early and then will join in certain markets mid-play.
The record has since been beaten, but when 2015’s Jurassic World stomped onto the global stage it scored the then-biggest international bow ever at $315.3M. This one is not expected to reach quite the same heights given the pent-up demand on the previous movie which was the first new Jurassic title in more than a decade (the initial market suite is also different as it does not include China). But JWFK will have a fairly wide berth and will be the first new movie after the disappointment of Solo: A Star Wars Story. We’ll take a closer look at international prospects next week.
Overall, Fallen Kingdom has continued the brand’s tradition with a $185M global promo campaign in media value, as my colleague Anthony D’Alessandro has previously reported. This week, an Amazon Prime box has been rolling through Los Angeles on a tour before settling at The Grove today.