How ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ beat this year’s sequel curse
Sony Pictures' "Jumanji: The Next Level" pulled off what's been a difficult task in 2019: It topped its predecessor's opening weekend at the box office with $60 million domestically over the weekend.
"It looks like 'Jumanji' is immune to the so-called sequel or reboot 'curse' that has plagued many films this year and is set for a long run throughout the holidays and into 2020," Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senior media analyst, told Business Insider. "'The Next Level' should perform much like its predecessor that similarly had a 'Star Wars' movie to contend with in the early weeks of its release and have solid long-term success."
"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" rebooted the 1995 classic starring Robin Williams with a million domestic debut. And with 2 million globally and 4.5 million domestically, "Welcome to the Jungle" was 2017's fifth biggest movie in the world and the fourth biggest movie in North America.
Jack Black and Karen Gillan in "Jumanji: The Next Level"
A sequel was inevitable, but not a guaranteed success if this year's box office was any indication. While there have been exceptions (i.e. "John Wick: Chapter 3" and most things Disney), sequels and reboots this year have flopped hard. Here are some examples:
- "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" grossed nearly 0 million less than 2014's "Godzilla."
- "Dark Phoenix," Fox's final "X-Men" movie before joining Disney, was the lowest-grossing "X-Men" movie yet with just million domestically and 2 million worldwide.
- "Men in Black: International" tanked with only million domestically and 4 million globally.
- "It: Chapter Two" wasn't a flop with 2 million worldwide, but performed far worse than the first "It," which earned 0 million.
- "Terminator: Dark Fate" could put an end to the "Terminator" franchise after a measly 8 million worldwide off of a nearly 0 million production budget.
- And the "Shining" sequel "Doctor Sleep" fizzled out at only million worldwide.
Sony avoided those movies' fates by dropping "The Next Level" during a smart weekend, according to box-office experts. And "Welcome to the Jungle" also debuted the same month as a new "Star Wars" movie (then "The Last Jedi," this time "The Rise of Skywalker"), which didn't stop it from being a box-office powerhouse.
"['The Next Level'] has time to build audience enthusiasm and become a part, not a casualty, of what should be an enormous weekend for the box office when 'The Rise Of Skywalker' opens this week," Dergarabedian said.
Jeff Bock, the Exhibitor Relations senior box-office analyst, said that family-friendly movies are in high demand during the holiday season and the positive response to "Welcome to the Jungle" helped its chances even further.
But the all-star cast doesn't hurt, either. It includes Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a global superstar and Forbes' highest-paid actor of the year.
"Big names [can still mean] big box office game," Bock said. "It still works if you do it right."
This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.