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For a while, next year's Jumanji sequel was intended to be a summer release, which made sense. An adventure involving four prominent movie actors based off a nostalgic property is exactly the kind of fare many moviegoers crave during the sunny season. However, along with The Dark Tower and The Equalizer 2, Jumanji is one of the upcoming Sony movies that's been delayed, and it's now been moved to December 2017. However, according to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, this is a good thing.
Johnson went on Instagram earlier today to explain that during the course of working on Jumanji, he and the other folks involved with the production realized it was a movie better suited for the Christmas season. In his words:
We were always slated to be released summer of 2017, but after months of shooting and editing our movie together, we realized we have a big family franchise on our hands, that's full of Christmas wish fulfillment, fun and heart.
Summer may be the prime time to release blockbusters, but as we've seen in recent years, it's not the only period where such a movie can be highly successful. Just look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rather than release it in Star Wars-friendly May, Disney and Lucasfilm opted to move it to December, and it did gangbusters. Not that we're saying Jumanji will experience the same kind of success as The Force Awakens. In fact, Star Wars: Episode VIII opens a week before Jumanji is released, so we're actually concerned about how that will impact the latter's commercial performance.
Regardless, given how packed summer 2017 already is, in Dwayne Johnson's eyes, this date change will allow Jumanji to better stand out and give families a fun movie to enjoy during the holidays. Fun fact, the movie's first release date was Christmas 2016, so in a way, those original winter plans are restored.
You can read Dwayne Johnson's full Jumanji statement below, which came with a new image of him and the other three main cast members.
Like its 1995 predecessor (which itself was based on the 1981 children's book of the same name), the new Jumanji movie will revolve a board game that sucks the players into its insane, action-packed world. However, this time around, the protagonists will be four students playing the game while in detention. Once within, they'll be represented by adult avatars, and their mission will be to find a jewel. The movie's main cast includes Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Kevin Hart as Moose Finbarr, Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse, Jack Black as Professor Shelly Oberon, Ser'Darius Blane as Anthony "Fridge" Johnson, Nick Jonas and more.
Jumanji hits theaters on December 22, 2017.