Will the Jurassic Park Franchise Ever Finish?
In 1993 Steven Spielberg and Universal Pictures astounded the world by releasing the generation-defining Jurassic Park. Set on a mysterious island called Isla Nebula, the film depicts the disastrous attempt to create a theme park, with cloned dinosaurs as its main attraction.
Before Micheal Crichton had even released his novel Jurassic Park, Hollywood had already recognised its potential. In 1990, before publication, 5 film studios were already furiously bidding for the film rights. Ultimately Universal stumped up $1.5 million alongside a considerable percentage of the films gross profits and the rights were theirs! This was not in vain, the thunderous roar of dinosaurs thrilled and delighted both children and adults in equal measure and the film was an instant success. Naturally, many more films have followed and there is no questioning that nearly 30 years after the original was released, this franchise is one of the most iconic the world has ever seen.
How Has Jurassic Park Become Such A Successful Franchise?
It wasn’t just the story that captivated the hearts and imaginations of the public, Jurassic Park was a technological masterpiece. Until the 1990s CGI was used sparsely, in the 90s the technology boomed. Jurassic Park seamlessly blended state of the art animatronic technology with CGI and the original Jurassic Park 1993 is still considered an industry-standard masterpiece. The visual magnificence was completed by John Williams’s instantly recognisable theme tune, all of this combined left audiences spellbound.
In the early 90s the franchise transformed the world almost overnight, merchandise sales soared, pop cultures worldwide were transfixed and any half-decent amusement park was suddenly incomplete without a gigantic robotic dinosaur. The symbolic iconography of the merchandise has been in so popular that everything from mugs to action figures and lunch boxes are still in demand nearly 30 years later!
In 2014, over 20 years after the inception of the franchise, Microgaming had the inspired idea to reincarnate Jurassic Park as a video slot! With the same tension that rippled throughout the movies present, the Jurassic Park online slot has successfully recreated the magic; there is a great review here.
The success of the franchise is unsurprising, who doesn’t love the motif of a T-rex, the bold black and red logo and the unquestionable fact that childhood and a love of dinosaurs are inseparable. Even now in 2020 what little boy doesn’t want their walls plastered with dinosaur imagery and for that matter what adult doesn’t want a 90s inspired sweatshirt with the iconic park emblem on the front?
What’s Next For The Jurassic Park Franchise?
After the release of the first film in 1993, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001) followed in quick succession. As the franchise pushed on the quality of the movies arguably diminished and audiences never got back the rapture they felt upon their first forage into Jurassic Park. By the early noughties, interest in the movies was at an all-time low.
Initially scheduled to be released in 2005, after over a decade of speculation, the film franchise returned in 2015 with Jurassic World. Audiences flocked to it making it the second-highest-grossing film that year and the first film to gross over $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend. Once again set on Isla Nebular the new theme park Jurassic World thrilled with modern CGI and animatronics producing fabulous creatures such as the Indominus Rex, a genetically modified T-rex, the world was once again transfixed. In 2018 along came the sequel, the 5th incarnation in the film franchise, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Jurassic World: Dominion is due to be realised in early summer 2021.
In financial terms, all 4 films since the original live up to the box office success, none have had the critical acclaim or groundbreaking narrative of the original. Yet this doesn’t seem to stop constant speculation over future releases, in May 2020 Jurassic World Dominion producer hinted that it would not be the final film in the franchise. Alongside this Netflix and Dreamworks are due to release Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous this year and in March 2020 it was announced that Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg are in the process of developing a live-action television series.
After 30 years, some highs and lows and many fans arguing that no film will ever outperform the original Jurassic Park, it seems set in stone that the franchise is going nowhere and no matter what, there will always be an audience for a theme park of dinosaurs.