'Jurassic Park' Gets To The Top Of The Weekend's Top 10 List The film industry continues to track box office grosses even during the pandemic. And this week, Jurassic Park got to the top of the charts.
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'Jurassic Park' Gets To The Top Of The Weekend's Top 10 List

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'Jurassic Park' Gets To The Top Of The Weekend's Top 10 List

'Jurassic Park' Gets To The Top Of The Weekend's Top 10 List

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SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

With every major cinema chain closed and Hollywood releasing no new titles since March, most of us are watching movies at home these days. But the film industry still tracks box office grosses, even if there's not much to track. And critic Bob Mondello says, this week, there's a throwback Thursday surprise.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: To my mind, the one saving grace of this spring's dismal box office has been that the film that's led the pack for nine of the last 10 weeks will never have a shot at the record books.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TROLLS WORLD TOUR")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) We have to unite all the trolls. Let's go save the world.

MONDELLO: With combined national weekly movie attendance in the thousands, rather than the usual millions, for much of March and April, "Trolls World Tour" could be No. 1 without doing a lot of business. But as states slowly open up, there's starting to be competition for movie screens, and this past weekend, "Trolls" got eaten alive...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JURASSIC PARK")

JEFF GOLDBLUM: (As Ian Malcolm) We've got to get out of here. We've got to get out of here now - now, right now.

MONDELLO: ...By Spielbergian carnivores from summers past.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS' "THEME FROM JURASSIC PARK")

MONDELLO: Topping the box office last weekend with a snappy half-million dollars was Jurassic Park, last seen at the top of the charts in June of 1993, and close behind was a Spielberg flick from 18 summers earlier...

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING)

MONDELLO: ...The one that had audiences afraid to go in the water.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JAWS")

ROY SCHEIDER: (As Brody) You're going to need a bigger boat.

MONDELLO: Also on the week's Top 10 list is Spielberg's signature film, the one that made Reese's Pieces a thing in June of 1982...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL")

HENRY THOMAS: (As Elliott) E.T.

MONDELLO: ...As well as two summer comedies that Spielberg produced rather than directed - "The Goonies"...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE GOONIES")

JEFF COHEN: (As Chunk) I don't want to go on any more of your crazy Goonie adventures.

MONDELLO: ...And "Back To The Future."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BACK TO THE FUTURE")

MICHAEL J FOX: (As Marty McFly) Are you telling me that you built a time machine out of a DeLorean?

MONDELLO: That is five of this week's Top 10, a pretty strong indicator that Spielberg represents comfort food for stressed audiences right now, especially the drive-in audiences that are driving the box office while social distancing is important. As the man who more or less invented the summer blockbuster with "Jaws," Spielberg knows from drive-ins - all five of these movies opened originally in June and July of their respective years, and it would be easy to put together another five of his smash hits that audiences associate with hot weather.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS' "THE RAIDERS MARCH")

MONDELLO: Spielberg is to summer movies what The Beach Boys are to summer songs - no one is better at making audiences sweat and feel good at the same time, which is why people craving escape from a pandemic and social turmoil naturally gravitate to his movies - stories with urgent problems that characters working together can solve in a couple of hours or a couple of sequels. And if there's some kind of critter involved and a score by John Williams, so much the better.

I'm Bob Mondello.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL")

THOMAS: (As Elliott) Not so high. Not so high.

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