Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has been a surprise hit, especially considering that it went up against the box office behemoth that is Star Wars. Now, it looks like a sequel is in the works that may risk doing the exact same thing. Considering how big Jumanji has been, the idea that a sequel could be on the way is not shocking, even if it's not yet official. However, it looks as if Sony is eyeing a December 2019 release date for the film, which would put it right back up against Star Wars with Episode IX coming out at the same time.
It certainly makes some sense, as the idea of opening the family-friendly Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle right after the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi certainly worked this time. While The Last Jedi started out much stronger than Jumanji, the box office for the Star Wars sequel has been dropping faster than that of Jumanji, resulting in the action adventure movie winning the box office for the last three weekends.
It was quite a gamble for Sony to release the film up against Star Wars but studio chief Tom Rothman tells the Wall Street Journal that it was clear early on that the film could be a solid holiday movie that families would want to go and see and he thought the movie would do well. Now that he's been proven right, Rothman now says he hopes to have a sequel out for the holiday season in 2019, which would put Jumanji up against Star Wars yet again.
While Star Wars: The Last Jedi has certainly done just fine at the box office, Lucasfilm may want to take notice of this move because it's a clear indication that at least one studio isn't afraid of the franchise. In the past, Disney has had their pick of the release calendar because frequently, once they picked a date, everybody else got out of the way. The sequel to Wonder Woman was planned for a December 2019 release originally, but when Star Wars: Episode IX was pushed back from its May release into December, Wonder Woman 2 moved itself up on the schedule as to avoid competition. Jumanji isn't going to go looking for an empty weekend, they're stepping up and looking for a fight.
The fact that it worked once is certainly an indication that Jumanji can take on Star Wars, although, it may not be as easy for the fledgling franchise to do the same thing twice. The hype for Star Wars: Episode IX will likely rival that of The Force Awakens, as the new trilogy will be coming to a close. It's going to be a bigger moment for the franchise than the middle entry in the trilogy and might be enough to fight off the upstart.