Paleontologist Alan Grant and his paleobotanist girlfriend Ellie Sattler give lectures on dinosaur history between digs at remote exotic locales. One dusty afternoon, John Hammond, a millionaire inspired by scientific wonders, makes an offer to the erudite couple that they can't refuse: he asks them to act as consultants on his entrepreneurial endeavor -- an amusement park with live dinosaurs as the main attraction.
On an island off the coast of Costa Rica, Hammond's already biologically engineered living dinosaurs by extracting and reconstructing dino-DNA from fossilized insects. But bedlam ensues when Wayne, a computer genius, tampers with Jurassic Park's security system so that he can smuggle out a bunch of frozen embryos. The prehistoric creatures break loose around feeding time and the millionaire, the scientists, the park employees and two children become fair game.
An eccentric billionaire invites two paleontologists to his private island off South America where he is constructing a wild animal park--whose specimens are genetically engineered dinosaurs! Breakthrough digital effects bring these extinct animals roaring back to life. Based on Michael Crichton's ravenous bestseller. Academy Award Nominations: 3. Academy Awards: 3, including Best Visual Effects.
Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" quickly found its place among the top 6 films composing Variety's 15 box-office hits of all time. The film's rise to the top began opening weekend when it set a record for the biggest opening day, $18 million, and the highest grossing three-day opening of all time, $52 million. This estimation doesn't, however, include inflationary prices which might alter the film's revenue rank.
Executives also predicted "Jurassic" would become one of the highest grossing films in Japan. The film has already become the highest grossing movie in Britain, not to mention the biggest hit in international box-office history, generating over $900 million in ticket sales.
According to financial analysts, the high opening weekend revenues were aided by strong advance sales obtained through telephone ticketing. MovieFone reported that 30 major theaters in Los Angeles and New York were sold-out entirely through the tele-ticketing service.
The film's estimated cost was between $56 and $100 million, including the $2 million the studio paid co-writer Michael Crichton for rights to his 1990 best-seller novel.
Because Spielberg was concerned with anatomical accuracy he employed a group of dino-technicians including: artists, fabricators as well as paleontologists.
Initially, conventional special effects techniques were to be supervised by Oscar winner Stan Winston ("Aliens," "Terminator 2,") until Industrial Lights & Magic's Dennis Muren ("The Abyss," "T2") convinced him computer graphics more appropriately suited the task for the large-scale scenes.
Muren created ostrichlike Gallimimus on his computer that were so realistic, they left Spielberg amazed. Computer animators and model builders began working together thereafter. Winston's artists created detailed drawings from the computer pictures, which were then recreated in clay. From the clay models, large scale hydraulic skeletons, operable by remote control, were constructed. Latex skins covered the skeletons giving the textured appearance of the outer epidermal surfaces.
The final creations included: a 40 foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex, predatory velociraptors, a brachiosaur, and a spitting dilophosaur. The T-Rex was controlled by a model one-fifth its scale.
Spielberg's film benefited from recent scientific discoveries that refute widely held dinosaur stereotypes.
There were a number of discrepancies between the book and the film. For example, Crichton's literary menagerie included 15 dinosaur species while the film contains only seven.
Though some found the film's premise incredible, biologists Raul Cano of California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and George Poinar Jr. of the University of California, Berkeley, disclosed they had cloned DNA from a 40 million-year-old bee preserved in amber. And according to "Newsweek," scientists at the American Museum of Natural History in New York also claimed to have cloned DNA from a 25 million-year-old termite trapped in a similar mineral. They are still a long way from bringing creatures to life however.
As Hollywood's preeminent director, Steven Spielberg was used as a kind of financial savior for Universal Studios which was hurting economically prior to the dinosaurian venture. According to a Universal executive, the strategy of investing in one big film at the expense of other films made by the studio is a cost effective way of operating.
Rated BBFC PG by the British Board of Film Classification.
TM & Copyright 1993 Universal City Studios, Inc. and Amlin Entertainment, Inc. "Jurassic Park" is a registered trademark of Universal City Studios, Inc. and Amblin Entertainment, Inc.