Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a 2017 American fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, and Jeff Pinkner, based on a story by McKenna. Part of the Jumanji franchise, the film is a sequel to the 1995 Jumanji, which was based on the 1981 children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. It pays tribute to Robin Williams, the star of the first film, by mentioning his character's name. In addition, a replica of the used by Williams's character also appears as a clue for the Jumanji game's new players. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, and Bobby Cannavale. Set twenty-one years after Jumanji, it follows four teenagers who are transported into the video game world of Jumanji and play as their chosen characters. Joining another player, they must overcome the game's magical power to win and return home.
|Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jake Kasdan|
|Story by||Chris McKenna|
by Chris Van Allsburg
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Budget||$90 - $150 million|
|Box office||$962.1 million|
Principal photography began in Honolulu in September 2016 and ended in Atlanta in December. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle premiered at the Grand Rex in Paris on December 5, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on December 20 in RealD 3D and IMAX, by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label; unlike its predecessor, which was distributed by Tristar Pictures. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who called it a "pleasant surprise" and praised the cast. It grossed over $962 million worldwide, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2017 and the 42nd-highest-grossing film of all time.
A sequel is scheduled to be released on December 13, 2019.
In 1996 in Brantford, New Hampshire, teenager Alex Vreeke receives the Jumanji board game which was found by his father on a beach. Alex sets the game aside. That night, it transforms into a video game cartridge which catches Alex's attention when he is awakened by the Jumanji drum beats. When he begins playing it, he is transported into the game.
Twenty years later, in the present day, Spencer Gilpin gets caught writing an essay for former friend Anthony "Fridge" Johnson, Bethany Walker makes a video call during an English class quiz and Martha Kaply refuses to participate in gym class. All four of them serve detention. They are sent to the school basement to prepare magazines for recycling and to think about their future. Fridge discovers Alex's discarded video-game system when he explores the basement, and he and Spencer set up the game. Although it has five playable characters, the first one cannot be selected. Spencer and Fridge choose two characters, and the girls choose their own. When Spencer presses "Start", they are transported into the game.
They land in a jungle, in the forms of their game avatars. Spencer is a tough, muscular explorer and archaeologist named Dr. Smolder Bravestone; Fridge is a diminutive zoologist named Franklin "Mouse" Finbar; Bethany is an overweight male cartographer named Professor Shelly Oberon; and Martha is a female commando and martial arts expert named Ruby Roundhouse. They each have three lives marked on their arms and Bethany immediately loses one after being eaten by a hippo. Spencer deduces that if they lose all three, they die for real.
They learn the game's story from NPC Nigel: corrupt archeologist Russel Van Pelt stole the Jaguar's Eye, a magic jewel, from its shrine, cursing Jumanji. Nigel escaped Van Pelt with the jewel, and the players must return it to a jaguar statue and call "Jumanji" to lift the curse. Nigel warns them that Van Pelt will stop at nothing to retrieve the jewel, which gives him control of Jumanji's animals. They begin tackling the game's increasingly-difficult "levels", losing lives as they do so. The four are rescued by Alex, the missing fifth player, whose avatar is pilot Jefferson "Seaplane" McDonough. Taking shelter in a jungle house built by the game's previous player Alan Parrish, Alex believes that he has been in the game for a few months and is distressed to learn that it is really twenty years. The newcomers vow to help him return home. They break into a transportation shed, commandeering a helicopter to fly to the jaguar statue and return the jewel, but Fridge drops the jewel into a herd of white rhinoceros. Spencer sacrifices one of Fridge's lives, pushing him out of the helicopter as a distraction, and retrieves the jewel. Alex loses his last life when a mosquito bites him, but Bethany performs CPR and transfers one of her lives to him.
At the statue, the players are surrounded by a pack of jaguars and Van Pelt's forces. They outmaneuver their opposition while Spencer and Martha race to the statue. Van Pelt confronts Martha (trapped in a pit of mambas) and demands the jewel, but she sacrifices one of her lives to re-spawn and get it to Spencer. With the players on their last lives, they end the game, with Van Pelt disintegrating into a bunch of rats, and return to the real world, but Alex does not appear with them. They find the formerly-dilapidated Vreeke home restored and decorated for a Christmas family gathering. An adult Alex arrives, having returned to where he left off in 1996. Now married with children, he named his eldest daughter after Bethany out of gratitude for saving his life and introduces them to his infant son, Andy.
Spencer and Fridge reconcile, Bethany begins caring for others more than herself and plans a summer wilderness backpacking adventure, Martha and Spencer become romantically involved and the four are now friends after their experiences in the game. When they hear Jumanji's drumbeats, they bring the game behind the school and Fridge destroys it with a bowling ball to prevent anyone from playing it again.
- Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone, an Indiana Jones-like archaeologist and explorer who is Spencer's avatar; he is the leader of his team.
- Jack Black as Professor Sheldon "Shelly" Oberon, a cartographer, cryptographer, archaeologist, and paleontologist who is Bethany's male avatar.
- Kevin Hart as Franklin "Mouse" Finbar, a zoologist and weapons specialist who is Fridge's avatar and has the peculiarity of exploding after eating cakes.
- Ser'Darius Blain as Anthony "Fridge" Johnson, a Brantford High School football jock coasting on his athletic prowess who cares more about dating than studying.
- Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse, a Lara Croft-like martial artist, and dance fighter who is Martha's avatar.
- Morgan Turner as Martha Kaply, a shy and cynical intellectual at Brantford High School who believes that physical education is needless and who dislikes popular peers like Bethany and Fridge.
- Nick Jonas as Jefferson "Seaplane" McDonough, a young aircraft pilot in Jumanji who is Alex Vreeke's avatar.
- Mason Guccione as Alex Vreeke, a teenage gamer who was trapped inside the Jumanji video game for two decades.
- Colin Hanks plays the adult Alex when he appears two decades later.
- Bobby Cannavale as Russel Van Pelt, an archeologist-turned-mercenary and an enemy of Smolder Bravestone. He tries to retrieve the Jaguar's Eye, whose power possesses him.
- Rhys Darby as Nigel Billingsley, the main guide.
- William Tokarsky as Food Vendor
- Rohan Chand as Boy at Bazaar
- Marc Evan Jackson as Principal Bentley, who makes Spencer, Bethany, Fridge, and Martha clean up the basement as part of their detention.
- Carlease Burke as Miss Mathers, Spencer and Fridge's U.S. History teacher.
- Sean Buxton as Mr. Vreeke, Alex's father who discovered the Jumanji game.
- Tim Matheson (uncredited) as Old Man Vreeke. His narration at the beginning of the film implies that seeing his son teleported into the game had traumatized him. After Alex's return to him, he is a happy family man and close to his son and grandchildren.
- Maribeth Monroe as Bethany's English Teacher
- Missi Pyle as Coach Webb, Martha, Spencer and Bethany's gym teacher.
- Kat Altman as Lucinda, Bethany's friend.
- Marin Hinkle as Mrs. Gilpin, Spencer's mother.
- Tracey Bonner as Mrs. Johnson, Fridge's mother.
- Natasha Charles Parker as Mrs. Walker, Bethany's mother.
- Michael Shacket as Fussfeld, a friend of Spencer at Brantford High School who is infatuated with Bethany.
In July 2012, rumors circulated that a remake of Jumanji was in development. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad said: "We're going to try and reimagine Jumanji and update it for the present." On August 1, 2012, it was confirmed that Matthew Tolmach would produce the new version with William Teitler (who produced the original film).
In August 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced that the film was scheduled for release on December 25, 2016. Online reception to the news was negative, with some saying that the announcement came too soon after the August 2014 death of Robin Williams (who played Alan Parrish in the original film). The announcement was criticized by Bradley Pierce (who played Peter Shepherd in Jumanji) and by E! News, which called the remake "unnecessary and kind of insulting". On October 23, 2015, Scott Rosenberg was hired to rewrite the script for the film, whose production was a high priority for the studio. On January 14, 2016, Deadline Hollywood reported that Jake Kasdan had been hired to direct the film from a script by Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner based on a draft by original writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers.
In March 2017, during CinemaCon, it was announced that the film's complete title was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Its plot involved teenagers cleaning out a school's basement who find a vintage video-game version of Jumanji and are sucked into the first film's jungle setting. Although fans debated whether the film was a sequel or a reboot, the second trailer (released on September 20, 2017) indicated that the sequel is set 21 years after the first. Dwayne Johnson noted that the film was inspired by classic video games of the 1990s.
On April 15, Variety reported that Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart were in early talks to star in the film (although both actors had other projects). Later in the month, Johnson confirmed his casting on Instagram. In July, it was reported that Nick Jonas had joined the film's cast with Johnson, Hart, and Jack Black. The following month, Johnson said that the film would not be a reboot but a continuation of the 1995 film; Karen Gillan was announced as part of the cast. On September 20, Ser'Darius Blain was cast as Anthony "Fridge" Johnson and Madison Iseman as Bethany Walker. Two days later, Rhys Darby was cast as Nigel Billingsley, Morgan Turner as Martha Kaply, and Alex Wolff as Spencer Gilpin. In November 2016, Bobby Cannavale announced his casting in the film, and in December 2016, Tim Matheson joined the cast as Old Man Vreeke.
James Newton Howard was originally signed to compose the film's score, he was replaced by Henry Jackman when the film's release date was postponed six months. The soundtrack was released digitally on 15 December 2017 by Sony Masterworks.
On November 29, 2017, it was announced that Amazon Prime members in the United States would have early access to tickets for a December 8 screening of the film at select Regal, National Amusements, ArcLight Cinemas and AMC theaters. The screenings sold out at 1,200 theaters and earned $1.9 million. The film was released on IMAX 2D on January 12, 2018.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle grossed $404.5 million in the United States and Canada and $557.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $962.1 million. On April 10, 2018, the film passed Spider-Man ($403.7 million) to become Sony's highest-grossing film domestically. Deadline Hollywood calculated its net profit as $305.7 million when factoring all expenses and revenues, making it 2017's fourth-most-profitable release.
In the U.S. and Canada, the film was released on December 20, 2017 with The Greatest Showman and was projected to gross about $60 million from 3,765 theaters in its six-day opening weekend; the studio predicted a $45 million debut. It earned $7.2 million on its first day and $7.6 million on its second day. Over the three-day weekend, the film grossed $36.2 million (for a six-day total of $71.9 million), finishing second at the box office behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Its weekend-only earnings increased to $50.1 million during its second weekend, again finishing in second place at the box office. The 38.4 percent weekend-to-weekend increase was the fourth-largest for a film playing in over 3,000 theaters; The Greatest Showman set the record for best hold the same weekend. The film passed Star Wars: The Last Jedi for the top spot the following weekend, declining 28.1 percent to $36 million, and finished first again the following week with $28.1 million (and a total of $35.2 million over the four-day MLK weekend). Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle remained atop the box office for its third weekend, earning $19.5 million.
It again topped the box office for a fourth consecutive week (its sixth week overall in theatres) with $20 million, easily surpassing new releases 12 Strong and Den of Thieves (both films finished their entire run with box office lower than Jumanji: Welcome... grossed in its first 10 days). The film continued to do well the following week, dropping 16 percent (to $16.4 million) and finishing second to Maze Runner: The Death Cure, before regaining the top spot for a fifth time the following weekend with $11.1 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 201 reviews, and an average rating of 6.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an 84% positive score.
Dave White of TheWrap praised the cast and called the film a pleasant surprise: "Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle is the Christmas tentpole release that aims to please and succeeds, a funny family entertainment product that subverts more expectations than it was obligated to contractually". David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a C grade, calling it unnecessary but mildly amusing: "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is further proof that even the stalest whiff of brand recognition has become preferable to originality. Only part of the blame for that belongs to the studios but after cannibalizing themselves for much of the last 20 years, Hollywood has clearly eaten their way down to the crumbs". For Variety, Owen Gleiberman wrote: "Excitement! Suspense! Childlike innocence! Ingeniously staged action set pieces! These are a few of the things you will not find, anywhere, in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ... It's supposed to be a board game come to life but really, it's just a bored game."
|Year||Award||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|2018||Kids' Choice Awards||Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie||Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle||Won|||
|Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Actor||Dwayne Johnson||Won|
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Comedic Performance||Jack Black||Nominated|
|Best On-Screen Team||Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Fantasy Film||Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Comedy Movie||Nominated|||
|Choice Comedy Movie Actress||Karen Gillan||Nominated|
|Choice Comedy Movie Actor||Dwayne Johnson||Won|
|Choice Comedy Movie Actor||Jack Black||Nominated|
|Choice Comedy Movie Actor||Kevin Hart||Nominated|
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was released on Digital HD on March 6, 2018 and on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on March 20, although the film was still in theaters. The Blu-ray and digital versions include two additional featurettes: "Surviving the Jungle: Spectacular Stunts!" and "Book to Board Game to Big Screen & Beyond! Celebrating The Legacy of Jumanji".
Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas discussed Jumanji 3's plot in interviews, including the possibility of the film's exploring the origins of the game. According to Karen Gillan, the alternate ending of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle would have left the door open for another installment. In February 2018, it was announced that Kasdan would direct the sequel, with Rosenberg and Pinkner again writing the script and Johnson, Hart, Black, Gillan and Jonas reprising their roles. Filming will begin in January 2019. The film is slated to be released December 13, 2019. According to Kevin Hart, the sequel will have the main four stars, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, and himself, back. The cast and crew will start shooting for the sequel by the end of January 2019.
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