'Jumanji' Sequel Aiming To Face Off Against 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

While you were arguing about “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” has grown into a monster, global hit and currently stands at $769 million worldwide and there’s much more to come. The rebootquel is the first movie to open below the number one slot, and earn more than $300 million domestically — in fact, ‘Jumanji’ has spent the last three weeks at the top of the box office. It’s a massive hit, and as such, Sony has massive plans.

While there’s no official announcement just yet, The Wall Street Journal reveals that Sony chief Tom Rothman is aiming to have the followup to “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” in theaters for Christmas 2019, where it will square off against “Star Wars: Episode IX” which opens on December 20, 2019. Is that folly or hubris? Hardly. While Disney has certainly owned the December frame with their “Star Wars” films, Hollywood has learned they can still have success with smart counter-programming. For example, “Daddy’s Home” opened a week after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Christmas Day, and went on to earn $242 million worldwide. “Sisters,” which opened the same weekend as ‘The Force Awakens,” tallied $105 million worldwide. Both played to different, niche moviegoers, and scored big.

Sony has already proved there’s a massive audience for ‘Jumanji,’ and even if the movie was not at the top of the box office for a couple of weeks, it’s clear that audiences are patient enough to catch up with it. It’s a unique blockbuster story — it’s extraordinary that the film opened five days after ‘The Last Jedi,’ and has managed such impressive numbers and audience hold. It’s pretty much unheard of. It looks like the greatest threat to the galaxy far, far away might just be Dwayne Johnson.