Jumanji: The Next Level easily wins the box office in its opening weekend, setting a new Sony record in the process. With the notable exception of Joker, a number of this fall’s would-be tentpoles (like Terminator: Dark Fate and Charlie’s Angels) fell well short of expectations and bombed commercially. The hope was the holiday season’s crop of blockbuster releases would get things back on track, and so far that’s proven true. Disney’s animated sequel Frozen II posted strong numbers and is the latest 2019 title to crack the $1 billion worldwide.
The box office rebound seemed poised to continue this weekend, when The Next Level premiered. As a sequel to surprise 2017 smash hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the thought was this sequel should have been able to match or slightly surpass its predecessor in its debut. Now that the numbers are in, it’s safe to say The Next Level might have exceeded expectations and Jumanji surprised yet again.
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According to The Wrap, The Next Level earned $60.1 million domestically in its opening weekend, a figure much larger than Welcome to the Jungle’s $36.1 million and a new December record for Sony. The sequel’s global total currently stands at $112.9 million. As impressive this haul is, it’s obviously a far cry from the all-time December mark: Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ $247.9 million.
Whereas Welcome to the Jungle opened after The Last Jedi, The Next Level got a jump start on its Christmas competition by hitting theaters the week before The Rise of Skywalker. That decision clearly paid off for Sony, allowing The Next Level to stand apart from the other titles playing. This weekend’s other new arrivals were horror remake Black Christmas ($4.4 million) and Clint Eastwood’s true story drama Richard Jewell ($5 million), so Jumanji definitely had the most appeal as the only live-action four-quadrant blockbuster in town. Though word-of-mouth isn’t quite as enthusiastic when compared to Welcome to the Jungle, the general consensus is The Next Level made for an entertaining time at the movies, giving its star-studded ensemble plenty of chances to shine. That reception, combined with goodwill from the previous installment, probably played a part in the box office being so high.
It will be interesting to see how strong The Next Level’s legs are. Next week, of course, sees the long-awaited premiere of The Rise of Skywalker, which is projected to earn approximately $200 million domestically in its opening weekend. It’s true Jumanji and Star Wars were able to coexist two years ago (when Welcome to the Jungle became Sony’s highest-grossing film of all-time), and right now there’s no reason to suspect history can’t repeat itself in 2019. It goes without saying The Next Level’s reign at the top of the charts will be very short-lived, but it’s gotten off to an excellent start and will go down as another winner for Sony.
Source: The Wrap
Key Release Dates
- Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) release date: Dec 13, 2019
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