The odds were always good that Jumanji would do well at the box office. It promised to be a perfect blend of nostalgia and new, creative twists; the idea of turning the world of Jumanji into a console game was simply inspired. Still, nobody expected the film to perform anywhere near this well. By the end of January, it had become Sony's best-performing movie not starring Spider-Man. Now, just over two months later, Jumanji has taken Spidey's crown.
According to Deadline, Jumanji is now officially Sony's best-performing movie of all time. Spider-Man has been Sony's record-holder for 16 years, grossing $403.7 million in the domestic box office. Although Jumanji's performance has naturally slowed down over the course of its 14-week box office haul, the film has finally inched its way into the lead. Granted, that's before taking inflation into account, but the raw stats are still impressive. Jumanji's performance is the icing on the cake to Sony's most profitable year in decades, with other successes including Baby Driver, The Emoji Movie, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
To give a sense of Jumanji's success, it's officially the highest-grossing movie for director Jake Kasdan; it's also set a record for every one of its stars, including Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillan. "It's turned into a bit of a phenomenon," Gillan told Screen Rant. "I mean, we’re all just jumping up and down, we’re celebrating. It’s incredible and so exciting that people are enjoying it." The fact Jumanji beat both 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy and 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in the box office is pretty remarkable. Of course, Gillan is set to reprise the role of Nebula in Avengers: Infinity War later this month, so her own record is likely to be beaten soon.
For Sony chairman Tom Rothman, there's one simple reason for the film's success. "It's not the IP, it's the 'I' - the idea," he told Deadline. "Before the obsession grew with known properties only, big ideas are what powered big movies."
Sony clearly believe lightning can strike twice. They've also commissioned a sequel, and - in a repeat of last year's success - they're keen to schedule it against Star Wars Episode IX. Going by Rothman's argument, though, there's one thing Jumanji 3 will need in order to compete; another strong, radical, and revolutionary idea. If Sony can identify another strong pitch, there's no reason they couldn't have another record-breaker on their hands.