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. It is the third installment of the Jumanji franchise, 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|
|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 formats by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label; unlike its predecessor, which was distributed under the TriStar Pictures label. 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 40th highest-grossing film of all time. A sequel to the film is scheduled to be released on December 13, 2019.
In Brantford, New Hampshire (1996), teenager Alex Vreeke is given the Jumanji board game by his father, who found it on a beach. Uninterested, he 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 disappears into the game.
Twenty years later, four students at Brantford High School are given detention: Spencer Gilpin and his ex-best friend Anthony "Fridge" Johnson for cheating, Bethany Walker for making a phone call during class, and Martha Kaply for talking back to her gym teacher and refusing to participate. In the school basement, where they are serving their detention, Fridge discovers Alex's discarded video-game system, and he and Spencer decide to play. Although it has five playable characters, they are unable to select the first one, so they choose two others, and convince the girls to play as the remaining two. As they begin, the four are sucked 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 Sheldon 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 John Hardin 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 to lift the curse, and call "Jumanji" to leave the game. Nigel warns them that Van Pelt will stop at nothing to retrieve the jewel, which gives him control of Jumanji's animals; Van Pelt himself is possessed by its power. 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 rhinos. 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 and demands the jewel, but she purposely gets a snake to bite her, allowing her to respawn and to get the jewel to Spencer. Now on their last lives, the players end the game, with Van Pelt disintegrating into a bunch of rats, and return to the school basement, though without Alex. They find the formerly-dilapidated Vreeke home restored and decorated for a Christmas family gathering. An adult Alex arrives, having returned to 1996 when the game ended. Now married with children, he reveals he named his eldest daughter after Bethany out of gratitude for saving his life.
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.
- Dwayne Johnson as Smolder Bravestone, Spencer's avatar: a strong, confident archaeologist and explorer, and the leader of the team
- Jack Black as Professor Sheldon "Shelly" Oberon, Bethany's avatar: a cartographer, archaeologist, and paleontologist
- Kevin Hart as Franklin "Mouse" Finbar, Fridge's avatar: a diminutive zoologist and weapons carrier
- 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, Martha's avatar: a martial artist and "dance fighter"
- Morgan Turner as Martha Kaply, a shy and cynical intellectual at Brantford High School
- Nick Jonas as Jefferson "Seaplane" McDonough, Alex Vreeke's avatar: a young aircraft pilot
- Mason Guccione as teenage Alex Vreeke, a teenage gamer who was trapped inside the Jumanji video game in 1996
- Colin Hanks as adult Alex
- Bobby Cannavale as John Hardin Van Pelt, Bravestone's former partner and the game's villain. He tries to retrieve the Jaguar's Eye, whose power possesses him.
- Rhys Darby as Nigel Billingsley, the players' main in-game guide
- 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 history teacher
- Sean Buxton as Mr. Vreeke, Alex's father, who discovers the Jumanji game in 1996
- Tim Matheson as Old Man Vreeke
- 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's at Brantford High School who is infatuated with Bethany
- William Tokarsky as a food vendor in the game
- Rohan Chand as a boy at a bazaar in the game
Plans for a Jumanji sequel were put ahead by Sony Pictures Entertainment in the late 1990s. As reported by Ain't It Cool News, a stand-alone sequel entitled Jumanji 2 was in development in 1999. The plot of the story involved John Cooper, the President of the United States, buying Jumanji from an old antique store in Europe and bringing it to the White House to play it with his children (whom Butch, one of them, just wants a dad not a President for a father). Cooper then gets sucked into the world of Jumanji, paving the way for his evil Vice President, who was supposed to be played by Steve Buscemi, to rise to power as Cooper's replacement. Inside the game, Cooper would have teamed up with hybrid animals, which were going to be animated with CGI and Sony Pictures Consumer Products executive VP of worldwide consumer products Peter Dang revealed prototype drawings of animals that may have appeared in the film, all designed by Ken Ralston, who served as visual effects supervisor in the original film and was planned to make his directorial debut with Jumanji 2, slated for a Christmas 2000 release date. However, Ralston eventually stepped down and the project stalled, albeit the DVD commentary of the first film still references a sequel directed by Ralston.
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. Tom Holland and Shailene Woodley were originally cast as Seaplane McDonough and Ruby Roundhouse respectively, but they had to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts with other projects, so Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas were cast in their places.
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 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".
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle grossed $404.6 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 $19.5 million, topping new releases 12 Strong and Den of Thieves. The film continued to do well the following week, dropping 16 percent (to $16.1 million) and finishing second to Maze Runner: The Death Cure, before regaining the top spot for a fifth time the following weekend with $10.9 million.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle concluded 2017 as the fifth highest-grossing film of the year worldwide.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 223 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". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes "enough star power and comic zest to deliver a fun time at the movies [...] barely" and praises the cast, particularly Jack Black as hilarious and for finding the "vulnerable heart" of the character. Travers gives the film 2.5 stars out of 4. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian newspaper gives the film 3 out of 5 stars. Bradshaw praises Johnson for his "endearing performance" and calls it an "amiable effort" expects that will go down well on home viewings.
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|
A video game adaption based on this movie was announced at June 4, 2019 to be released in November 15, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe, Outright Games, and Funsolve have teamed up with Sony Pictures to make a video game based on the latest Jumanji movies.
Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas discussed Jumanji 3's plot in interviews, including the possibility of the film 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 began in January 2019. The film is slated to be released December 13, 2019. In January 2019, it was announced that Awkwafina, Danny DeVito and Danny Glover had joined the cast of the film.
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