Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle defied all odds when went up against a box office juggernaut like Star Wars: The Last Jedi; it managed to still outperform expectations, which surprised at least one of its stars. Jumanji is now Sony Pictures’ second highest-grossing release of all-time at the domestic box office, with an approximate $393.13 million under its belt, which is only $10 million shy of topping 2002’s Spider-Man to become Sony’s top domestic release. Coupling that with the film’s international haul and Jumanji has earned a whopping $930 million globally thus far.
Nowadays, most studios would avoid competing directly with a blockbuster film such as Star Wars, especially during the packed holiday season, but Sony took a chance on Jumanji and it seems to have paid off… big-time. Jumanji is also Sony’s second highest-grossing release of all-time at the worldwide box office, behind 2012’s Skyfall, which sits at $1.108 billion globally. That’s a number that seems impossible for Jumanji to top, but the fact that the sequel to a 22-year-old movie was able to start out in second place over its opening weekend, yet crawl all the way to becoming one of 2017’s top releases is astonishing, to say the least. And it’s certainly not something its titular stars – Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas – could’ve ever expected.
Screen Rant spoke to Karen Gillan recently for the home video release of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and she says that she and her co-stars were aware of their decision to go up against Star Wars, but they felt confident in their film. However, they didn’t know how successful it would become.
“I think we all had confidence in it, but it was still a ballsy move to release up against Star Wars because that’s just, yeah, that’s like a crazy thing to do, I think. We all felt like it was a really strong film, but I don’t think any of us anticipated quite this level of success. I mean, it’s turned into a bit of a phenomenon. I mean, we’re all just jumping up and down, we’re celebrating. It’s incredible and so exciting that people are enjoying it.”
Going up against Star Wars and coming out on the other side strong is something not many people would’ve expected for Jumanji. What’s even more interesting, though, is that it’s now Gillan’s highest-grossing movie ever. Jumanji has now topped 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy ($773.3 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($863.75 million) at the worldwide box office. On that note, Gillan says she’s just happy to be a part of movies like these that make people happy.
“I feel incredibly lucky to be involved in things that people are enjoying as much because it’s not always the case. It’s quite rare to be involved in things that people care about and you’re constantly trying to make people care about your projects [laughs], and to just be involved in [things] people are clearly enjoying is just the most rewarding part of all of this because I think the most important thing is the fans audiences who are watching the things.”
Jumanji is Gillan’s top-grossing film right now, but that may change when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters next month. Gillan is reprising her MCU role as Nebula in the film alongside the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Of course, it’s also possible that Sony’s forthcoming Jumanji 3 (which they plan on releasing in two years, opposite Star Wars: Episode IX) could top Avengers, but we’ll just have to wait and see if that happens. For now, fans can either catch Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in theaters or when it hits DVD/Blu-Ray on March 20. It’s now out on Digital HD.
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