Since its release in 1993, Jurassic Park has become one of the most beloved franchises of all time. Millions of fans around the world have enjoyed the thrilling adventures of the characters in the first and subsequent movies, but many viewers may not know some of the secrets hiding within the franchise. From deciding where to film the original movie to all the Easter eggs scattered through the films, here are the top facts you may not have known about Jurassic Park.
- Jurassic Park Broke Several Box Office Records
When Jurassic Park was released in June of 1993, it quickly became a smashing success. It became the highest grossing film of all time, earning an incredible $359.1 million domestically. This record lasted until the release of 1997’s Titanic which earned $600 million.
In addition, Jurassic Park had an array of other impressive records. The film earned $1.03 billion worldwide, making it the first movie to cross the billion-dollar mark. It ranked #4 for biggest openings of all time, earning around $50 million in just five days. And, it was the only movie to stay in the number one spot at the box office for more than 10 weeks in a row.
- The Set of Jurassic Park Was Built on a Hawaiian Plantation
When Jurassic Park was being filmed, the production team needed to find a suitable location to create their sets. They eventually settled on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where they crafted their models and props on an old Hawaiian sugar plantation with structures made of concrete, steel, and an incredible amount of detail.
The official filming locations of Jurassic Park were actually located around Oahu and Kauai, while some of the outdoor scenes were shot in Baja, Mexico. The life size dinosaurs were built by Stan Winston’s special effects company.
- The “Dinosaur Protection Group” Was Created in 2015
In 2015, Universal Pictures unveiled a website for a group called the Dinosaur Protection Group. Their mission was to protect the dinosaurs from a newly established dinosaur theme park on Isla Nublar, which the organization deemed dangerous. The website featured news articles, videos, and facts about the dinosaurs, as well as a petition to save them from the clutches of the new park.
The website was later revealed to be a part of the 2015 Jurassic World marketing campaign. It was meant to get fans excited about the movie and let fans learn more about the series.
- The Novel Was Written Based on a Screenplay
When Michael Crichton wrote the novel Jurassic Park in 1990, he based it upon the screenplay he had written the year prior. In 1989, Crichton penned the screenplay, but after attempting to get funding for the movie, he simply decided to turn his screenplay into a novel instead.
The novel went on to become a smash hit and the movie was quickly put into pre-production. However, Crichton was never truly happy with the movie version of his screenplay and the end result of the adaptation.
- The Velociraptors Were Not Accurately Portrayed
The Velociraptors in the Jurassic Park films are shown as being bigger than they actually are in real life. In reality, the Velociraptors were only two to three feet tall, while the ones in the movies were portrayed as being around six feet tall.
The fact that the Velociraptors were making that much noise also would have never happened because they were carnivorous dinosaurs and they would have been silent hunters. The movie version of the Velociraptors were created to be bigger and scarier according to Stan Winston, the special effects master who made them.
- Helicopters Were Built for the Volcano Scene
For one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, helicopters had to be used to transport Alan Grant and the others from the ruins. The production team had received a limited permit to shoot on the island but wanted to ensure that the helicopters were ecological and powered by electricity.
To accomplish this, the production team ended up constructing the helicopters themselves. Several professional model makers and mechanics built the helicopters from scratch, then added the custom features from their design teams.
- An Easter Egg Is Located on the Map of Isla Nublar
During one of the most iconic scenes, there is a detailed map of Isla Nublar that shows off all the surrounding areas, as well as the planned park and the various islands in the area. While the original book called out a number of locations, including the Brachiosaurus Valley, the map in the movie includes a special Easter egg.
On the map, there is a secret area marked “Site B.” The viewer may not realize it, but this is a reference to the 1997 sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
- The T-Rex Was Played by a Puppeteer
In the original movie, there was an incredible stunt involving a T-Rex. In the film, the T-Rex escapes and terrorizes the whole park, with the most memorable scene being the chase through the rain.
Instead of just adding the sounds after the fact, the production team had someone actually hiding inside a T-Rex puppet for the close up shots. Hirokazu Takahashi was chosen for the job and the green T-Rex puppet weighed 600 lbs, making it incredibly hard to maneuver.
- The “Dilophosaurus” Was Completely Made Up
In the first movie, there is a scene where a Dilophosaurus attacks Lex while she is trying to hide in an RV. This scene is one of the most memorable in the entire movie, with the Dilophosaurus spitting venom in Lex’s face.
However, the Dilophosaurus was completely made up by the filmmakers. None of the Dilophosaurus in the movie were real and the creature is actually an nod to the Dilophosaur mentioned in the original novel.
- Ray Arnold Played Bongos
In one of the most random moments of the movie, Ray Arnold, who is played by Samuel L. Jackson, is seen banging out some tunes on some bongos. This is actually a reference to a character he played in a 1994 movie called “The Red Violin”.
In that movie, he played a repairman who hums and plays the bongos to stay occupied. This is why he begins to do the same thing in Jurassic Park. It’s a funny, yet random Easter egg in the movie.
Jurassic Park is filled with secrets that even the most die-hard fans may not know about. From the box office records it broke to the special effects used to create the life-like dinosaurs, Jurassic Park remains one of the most beloved and successful movie franchises of all time. Knowing all these fascinating facts and secrets makes the experience even more exciting.