'Jurassic''s Thursday-saurus Rex
Jurassic World took in a terrific $18.5M in Thursday night showings in the U.S., which may mean that the original estimates of a $125M weekend for the fourth Jurassic film might be too conservative.

In 3,220 locations, 78% of its eventual 4,273 total opening venues, the dino flick outpaced the Thursday that Universal's Furious 7 posted the night of April 2nd just two months ago. Furious 7, which got off the line with a $15.8M start, in 76% of its weekend's total venues, ended with $147.2M for that weekend, so it's certainly conceivable that World can do better.

Even though Jurassic World proved to be Universal's biggest Thursday opening ever it still was not the biggest for the year. That still belongs to Disney/Marvel's Age of Ultron, which launched a $27.6M Thursday night (4/30) on its way to a $191.3M weekend.

Regardless the June opening weekend record looks well on its way to being shattered. Man of Steel held the spot for two years with its $116.6M, 2013 opening in 4,207 theaters ($27K per screen), followed by 2010's Toy Story 3 ($110.3M, 4,028 theaters, $27K per screen) and 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($108.9M, 4,234 theaters, $25.7K per).

Internationally, Jurassic World opened with a strong $24.5M first day on Wednesday in China, France, and six other territories, initially presaging what now looks assuredly like a phenomenal opening weekend, both domestically and overseas. China accounted for $17M of that $24.5 total (with receipts from previews thrown in) and the film was #1 in all eight markets in 6,824 theaters.

Today's opening on 4,273 venues is the largest ever screen count for Universal. 800 of those are on IMAX screens, which is also that company's largest day-and-date release.

Original tracking placed Jurassic World at around $125M domestic for the weekend, which would make it the 3rd biggest opening this year, behind Disney/Marvel's Age of Ultron ($191.2M) and Universal's Furious 7 ($147.1M). World would be well ahead of Fifty Shades of Grey ($85.1M) and Pitch Perfect 2 ($69.2M).

That four of those five movies are Universal's must make the folks on Lankersham very happy not to mention that the studio also just reached over $2B in international box office, the fastest of any studio in history to reach that milestone for overseas coin.

Jurassic World will be adding to those coffers this weekend as it opens up in 57 additional foreign markets with Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Korea and the U.K. also showing the Colin Trevorrow-directed film. Estimates for the worldwide take by Sunday come in at $350M, though that may now be revised upwards.

Fox Searchlight's Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which won both the Grand Jury and Audience prize at Sundance, opens up in limited release in 15 theaters.