Why Does the “Jurassic World” Franchise Have a Monopoly on Dinosaurs?

Matthew Loffhagen
Universal
(Photo: Universal)

Dinosaurs are back.

The early reviews for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” are arriving, and apparently, this movie is fine.

Not good, not bad, but pretty down-the-line stuff with no particular selling point, nor major flaw.

Considering that the first movie isn’t fantastic, but earned a lot of money, it’s not hard to imagine the circumstances that led to the creation of “Fallen Kingdom”.

Dinosaur movie makes money. Movie executives commission second dinosaur movie. Bland, unoriginal film is created. Nobody is surprised.

It’s easy to complain about a film like this being a little uninspired. The fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film is basically the cinematic equivalent of drinking backwash, so nobody was expecting “Jurassic Park 5” to be any better.

Chris Pratt Jurassic World 2
Source: Universal

But here’s my question: why is this the only big name dinosaur movie we’re getting this year?

“Jurassic World” is the fifth highest grossing film of all time, nestled in between to “Avengers” movies. The film is a big, big deal.

So where are the copycats?

Send in the Clones

We get approximately a bajillion superhero movies a year, from a bunch of different studios. Everyone is trying to copy the Marvel mold for making movies, both by adapting comic books, and by making cinematic universes.

Dinosaurs are not the exclusive trademarked property of Universal Studios, and yet Hollywood has collectively decided that only Universal can make a film where people rub shoulders with prehistoric monsters.

This is so weird. It’s as if there’s some kind of pact among studio producers, who insist that Universal be the only studio allowed to make these kinds of films. Realistic dinosaur movies are proven to make a lot of money, and yet nobody is taking advantage of this.

Jurassic World 2
Source: Universal

Where are the time travel movies where a bunch of humans get stuck in the Late Cretaceous period?

Where’s the cutesy “Flinstones” remake (in which John Goodman reprises his role as Fred Flintstone)?

Why don’t we have any films about a sentient dinosaur working in an office building as some kind of weird riff on “The Office”?

There’s so much potential here, but instead, movie studios are happy to leave dinosaurs solely in the hands of Universal.

Dinosaurs are Cool!

It can’t be because dinosaur movies are too expensive to make. Disney just threw $300 million at a Han Solo origin film, but they can’t find the cash to develop a gritty reboot of the “Dinosaurs” TV show?!

Modern Hollywood is a weird place. The fact that nobody is trying to steal thunder from “Jurassic World 2” is very confusing.

What I’m basically saying is that if any movie executive wants to see a screenplay for a story about dinosaur pirates in a spaceship, I’m available.

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