The biggest box office story so far in 2018 is all about a movie that came out in 2017, that is still ruling at the box office. The fact is that seeing a big December movie still owning the box office in January has been pretty standard the last couple years. What's unusual is that this time the movie isn't called Star Wars.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle started its run in second place behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but after 2017 came to a close, the action-comedy jumped into the top spot at the domestic box office and hasn't looked back since. How did this movie become such an unexpected hit? There are several reasons, and while none of them got the job done by themselves, combined, they created a huge hit.
Dwayne Johnson doesn't quite turn everything he touches to gold -- you only need to look at last summer's Baywatch to realize that. However, he remains, without a doubt, one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, and the type of star that will draw people into the theater just for being in a movie. He's got fans from his WWE days, fans from the Fast and Furious franchise, and fans of his HBO series. Everybody likes The Rock, and everybody is at least curious when he's in a new film.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a sort of backdoor sequel to the original Jumanji starring Robin Williams. While the original film wasn't a massive hit, it certainly had its fans, and the fact that it starred the now departed Williams has caused it to have a special place in the heart of audience members of a certain age. People were going to be interested to see how this follow-up worked, especially since it was known beforehand that the new movie would pay tribute to the original in some way. As it turns out, that was something people wanted to see.