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Why is Jurassic Park soo popular after twenty years?
I would really like to have a real answer to that question. I like Jurassic Park solely because I am fascinated by the resurrection of extinct life. Until Primal Carnage Genesis is released, Jurassic Park is the only franchise that covers that subject.
I know for sure that I am an exception in this. Based on all the fan fictions on the fanon wiki and the edits on this wiki, I know for sure that most Jurassic Park fans don't care about science. All they want to see is dinosaurs killing people.
I want to know why is Jurassic Park so popular among dinosaur fans. When Jurassic Park was rereleased in 3D Universal made $10 million in the opening weekend. In contrast, dinosaur shows like Primeval, Primeval: New World and Terra Nova were cancelled.
Some say that the Jurassic Park films had a better overall story. I doubt that the story was really what made Jurassic Park popular. As the Smithsonian magazine pointed out in the article Why Do We Keep Going Back to Jurassic Park?
The film was the first time that filmgoers were able to see what living dinosaurs might actually look like. Audiences were experiencing almost the same kind of awe as the characters in the movie—nothing quite like those dinosaurs had ever been seen before.
I'm sure that if Steven Spielberg had chosen to make a film adaptation of The Lost World or The Land That Time Forgot in 1993 with good CGI, it would have been the same succes. Any story would have done the trick.
I dare to doubt that the Jurassic Park films had really good stories. The main reason why Universal stopped to create new Jurassic Park films is that story of Jurassic Park doesn't allow good sequels. All Jurassic Park plots have human stupidity at the core of their plot turns.
Imagine you want to have a scene of humans lost in a jungle hunted by dinosaurs. If you want this scene in any Jurassic Park film you need a lot of stupidity from the human's side. You need a git who accidently disables the security fences while turning of a security camera, or short-term-thinking-eco-terrorists who release the dinosaurs from their pen and let them destroy their equipment, locks that magically unlock or tourists the parasail amoung the dinosaurs.
In Primeval or Terra Nova a time portal appears and send the humans back to a primeval jungle. The humans don't have to lose their guns by some clumsiness, they never had guns because the portal caught them by surprise and totally unprepared.
The same is true if you want a scene in which a T. rex runs havoc through a city. In Jurassic Park media you need people to ship the creature all the way from Isla Sorna to the town in question. And while they have the tech and money for the shipment, they are incapable to sedate the creature properly. And ofcourse they don't have a emergency plan in case the T. rex would break free.
In Primeval a time portal can just appear in a shopping center and let the creatures loose. The emergency response unit of the ARC knows when a portal appears, but always need some to to get there and figure out what kind of threat they're dealing with.
Some people say that Jurassic Park is soo unique because it was the first to show a scientifically accurate image of dinosaurs.
images of dinosaurs as slow, stupid, swamp-bound creatures still persisted into the early 1990s. Jurassic Park eliminated these paleo-stereotypes and rapidly ushered in a newer vision of dinosaurs that scientists knew well but that had not yet been fully embraced by the public. Jurassic Park instantly created a new baseline for what dinosaurs were and how they acted.
If that is a main reason why people like Jurasssic, why were all fans so outraged when the Spinosaurus killed the T. rex in JP3? Why do most JP fans don't want to see feathers in Jurassic Park IV? I am sure that most JP fans don't give a damn about whether JP dinosaurs are accurate.
My theory is this:
- Jurassic Park is overrated
Until Terra Nova was released, Jurassic Park was the only franchise in America with good dinosaurs in it. The dinos at Discovery Channel were a joke. I doubt anyone in the USA knew of Walking with Dinosaurs or Primeval when it first appeared. Therefore, every kid that wanted to see dinosaurs watched Jurassic Park. The fact that most fans wet their pants when the Spinosaur killed the T. rex in a battle shows me that most fans have no room in their heads for new ideas. If I ask in a poll what should be the main carnovore in JP4, 90% answers "T. rex". If I asks which actors should appear in JP4, the answer is "the original cast". To what place should we go in JP4? "Isla Nublar". What raptors should appear? "The ones from the first film".
I see the same pattern in all franchises. For example: everyone say that Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best film in the Indiana Jones series and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the worst. I've never been an Indian Jones fan, and I never will. I recently watched most them for the first time. If I have to judge the films for their entertainment value and convincingness, I think the Crystal Skull is even better than Raiders. Everyone likes Raiders because it is the first, everyone hates "Crystal Skull" because it is new.
So, any new dinosaur film or series is doomed for extinction because it isn't Jurassic Park. However, Jurassic Park plots need a huge amount of stupidity to put the protagonists in peril. Therefore, any future JPIII sequels is doomed for extinction because they look stupid for non-geeks.