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Jurassic World the first ever film to break $500m on debut weekend

Record: Bryce Dallas Howard at the premiere of the film
Record: Bryce Dallas Howard at the premiere of the film

The fearsome "Jurassic Park" dinosaurs have done it again, gobbling up the competition to score the biggest worldwide box office opening weekend ever with the latest franchise.

Action-packed "Jurassic World," featuring a new and particularly lethal hybrid dino, raked in a whopping $511 million globally in its debut at cinemas, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations on Sunday.

That was the largest weekend bow in history, eclipsing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($483 million in 2011).

The unprecedented haul for "Jurassic World" was boosted by the $100 million earned in China alone and the blockbuster topped the box office in 66 countries.

In North America, "Jurassic World" made $204.6 million, just short of the record for an opening weekend in the region, held by Marvel's "The Avengers" at $207.4 million in 2012.

"This is absolutely a four-quadrant movie and is working on so many levels. The release date was awesome and everybody stayed off of our date," The Hollywood Reporter quoted Universal domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou as saying.

In addition to Chris Pratt as chief dinosaur-keeper and Bryce Dallas Howard as the park's overzealous marketing guru, the cast of the film includes a multi-ethnic array of actors.

Co-produced by Steven Spielberg -- who directed the first two of the four films -- "Jurassic World" takes us back to the island theme park where scientists first revived T-Rex and Co for paying customers more than two decades ago.

"Jurassic World" dwarfed its rivals at theaters in North America at the weekend, bumping comedy espionage spoof "Spy" to second place, with a relatively paltry $16 million.

"Spy" stars Melissa McCarthy as a CIA analyst with a ho-hum desk job but a knack for being a discrete hero in risky missions carried out by others.

But this time, she goes deep undercover in the world of arms trafficking when two agents -- played by Jason Statham and Jude Law -- get in trouble, and works to head off a global disaster.

Mega-disaster epic "San Andreas," which topped box office sales in its debut two weekends ago at $54.6 million, was in third place as the blockbuster summer season gathers pace, at $11 million, according to Exhibitor Relations.

The big-budget spectacular stars Dwayne Johnson as a rescue pilot teaming up with his estranged wife to save their daughter after earthquakes unleash chaos on Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

The film's title refers to a real-life and much-feared major geological fault in California.

Fourth place went to the new flick "Insidious: Chapter 3," at $7.3 million. 

It is a prequel to the story of a family connected to the spirit world, and here a psychic contacts the dead to help a teen targeted by a supernatural entity.

- AFP