Sam Neill hated Universal’s Jurassic Park campaign

Jurassic Park star Sam Neill is upset that Universal made dinosaurs the focus of their marketing campaign.

It was an adventure 65 million years in the making, so you better believe Universal was going to bank on dinos and not the guy from Omen III. Sam Neill has now spoken out against the way the studio handled the marketing of 1993’s Jurassic Park, saying it didn’t treat the humans fairly.

In his new autobiography, “Did I Ever Tell You This?”, which came out last week, Sam Neill said the Jurassic Park marketing campaign forced itself to neglect the movie’s main cast. Instead, the iconic poster showed off the movie’s logo: a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton and the title. “The impostor syndrome would be enhanced later on when we were out and about promoting the movie,” he wrote. “The more or less official line from Universal Pictures was that, with Jurassic Park, they had set out to prove that they, with Spielberg, could make huge blockbusters without ‘movie stars’. This was true enough, but I think it slightly irked us, the actors, to be reminded from time to time we were not real ‘stars’. It also rather overlooked the well-established and highly respected careers of Laura, Jeff and Dicky.” And now we know that people called Richard Attenborough “Dicky”!

Universal had a $63 million gamble on their talons, but it paid off exponentially, with Jurassic Park raking in over $400 million domestically, making it one of the 50th highest-grossing movies ever made. Of course, this approach doesn’t always pay off, as seen in the release of this year’s 65. Sony hoped using the dinosaur reveal would pull in moviegoers, but this did nothing for the box office, as 65 only pulled in $28 million domestically on a $45 million budget. Not exactly Spielberg numbers…

Jurassic Park, of course, spawned its own franchise, although none of the entries in the original trilogy featured stars on the posters, including Sam Neill for his return in the third movie. Interestingly, every main poster for the Jurassic World trilogy has featured at least one of its leads.

The actor’s book is actually quite a good read, with Sam Neill not just going into the background of Jurassic Park and some other beloved films but also his bout with stage-three blood cancer.

Do you think Universal did Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and more wrong in their Jurassic Park marketing campaign? Let us know your take in the comments below!

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