Even the most passionate defenders of a second Jumanji movie, this one starring Kevin Hart and The Rock, couldn't have predicted that we'd still be writing about the movie atop the box office charts five weeks after it opened... while its perceived top competitor, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, tumbled down the charts. But that, as they say, is why they play the games, because Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle continues to dominate the box office, as the following numbers prove:
Sony has an actual franchise on its hands, but some tough questions will have to be asked before moving forward on anything. Audiences clearly connected with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The movie has been at or near the No. 1 slot on the box office charts since it opened in December. It is the seventh highest earner of 2017 movies, and The Rock's second-highest grosser of his career (with only Furious 7 above it). By all accounts, it is a monster hit.
But are audiences responding to the cast, or to the return of the game that sucks people in? My guess is that it's mainly the chemistry of the four leads in Jake Kasden's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The Rock, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillen and, especially, Jack Black are all fantastic in the comedy, playing stereotypical teenagers who get pulled into a video game realm, then must complete a quest if they hope to get back to their normal lives. If Sony were to make a follow up movie, would they follow this cast? Or would they have to cook up a new Jumanji game that pulled in new players (like the franchise did for the original Jumanji, or even the space-based Zathura)? I don't think that's such an easy question to answer.
Two new wide releases challenged Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and came up short. Chris Hemsworth galloped into battle as a military leader invading Afghanistan in 12 Strong. With its estimated $16.5 million, it landed at No. 2, which was enough to top Gerard Butler's Den of Thieves (an estimated $15.3M).
Steven Spielberg's The Post is the only Oscar contender enjoying a bump at the box office. By going wider, the tense historical drama notched $12.1M, to push its domestic cume to $45.1 million after 5 weeks. Maybe Hugh Jackman's The Greatest Showman should be in the Oscar conversation? That movie is still doing well, earning $113 million over the same five weeks.
Finally, the country-music romance Forever My Girl squeaked into the box office top 10 this weekend with a meager $4.7M. It's a slow start for the movie, but because Roadside Attractions kept the costs way down, the movie will end up turning a profit.
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