Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle knocked Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi from its top spot at the domestic box office on New Year’s Day 2018. The standalone sequel to Joe Johnston’s 1995 fantasy adventure movie, Jumanji – which itself is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s 1981 children’s novel of the same name – catapulted the franchise into the modern day by transforming the classic board game into a 1990s-era video game.
Bad Teacher and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story director Jake Kasdan helmed the long-in-development Jumanji sequel for Sony Pictures, based on a script from Spider-Man: Homecoming scribes Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, as well as Gone in Sixty Seconds‘ Scott Rosenberg, and LOST‘s Jeff Pinker. While the original movie followed protagonists, namely Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst, in the real-world, Jumanji 2 took its players – played by Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black – into the world of Jumanji, which they had to save in order to return home. Jumanji 2 earned praise for its comedic scenes and charming cast, which contributed to it snagging second place the worldwide box office over the holidays, behind The Last Jedi. But now, it looks like it’s finally taken the lead.
THR reports that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle earned an estimated $16.2 million at the domestic box office on New Year’s Day – January 1, 2018 – thus placing the sequel ahead of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which earned an estimated $14.5 million. Comparatively, J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens didn’t drop to second place on the daily chart until January 8, 2016 – more than 3 weeks after it hit theaters in December 2015.
Jumanji 2 brought in an additional $66.5 million over the New Year’s weekend, thus bringing its global box office tally to an approximate $338.7 million. The film’s blockbuster success helped propel Sony Pictures beyond the billion-dollar mark worldwide. The Last Jedi, on the other hand, garnered an estimated $68 million over the holiday weekend, which was enough for the movie to pass Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at both the domestic and worldwide box office.
Molly’s Game and Insidious: The Last Key both hit theaters this Friday, along with a handful of other movies, so it’ll be interesting to see if Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will remain in first place throughout the week and over 2018’s first weekend, if Star Wars: The Last Jedi regains its top spot, or if one of the new movies knocks both of them down from their box office reign.
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