In the Steven Spielberg versus Steven Spielberg battle for worldwide box-office champ, the winner is . . . the dinosaur.
The producer-director's "Jurassic Park" has grossed $704.7 million in theaters around the globe, surpassing his own 1982 fantasy adventure movie "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," which collected $701.4 million.
"It's the biggest movie of all time," proclaimed an ebullient Tom Pollock, chairman of MCA Inc.'s Motion Picture Group, the parent of the movie's distributor, Universal Pictures.
"It's a milestone that for most people only happens once in a lifetime. But in Spielberg's case, it has happened three times," Pollock added, noting that in 1975, Spielberg's shark thriller "Jaws" was the reigning international box-office king, taking in $460 million.
"Who knows where this thing will end?" Pollock said on Monday. "The film is still opening in some markets--last week Slovenia, next week Croatia." Still to come are such major markets for American films as France and Spain.
In the United States and Canada, "Jurassic Park" has grossed $325.7 million since its June 11 opening, while the international gross stands at $379 million--giving it the combined $704.7 million as of Monday.
"E.T." earned $359 million in its initial U.S./Canadian release and $281.3 million abroad. A subsequent re-release of "E.T." in 1985 pushed its total to $701.4 million.