Robin Williams’ beloved family film Jumanji was a big hit when it was released in 1995, bringing in over $260 million at the box office, despite reviews being mixed. Critics may not have lavished Joe Johnston’s blockbuster with praise, but audiences absolutely loved it, and when it was first announced that the franchise was set to continue after Williams had passed away, there was uproar from longtime fans who held the original so close to their hearts.
That skepticism was blown away, though, when Jake Kasdan’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle hit theaters in December 2017, with the decision to reinvent the property as the basis for a broad action blockbuster yielding enthusiastic reviews and a haul of close to a billion dollars. The central quartet of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan were all fantastic in their roles, and the body swap premise and trip to the inside of the game presented a whole host of new storytelling opportunities.
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The sequel didn’t quite manage to hit those same creative heights, but a box office tally of $800 million was still hugely impressive. A third entry in the rebooted series is currently in development, that much we know, and looks to bring Jumanji into the real world. But beyond that, insider Daniel Richtman claims that Sony are already working on fourth and fifth movies, too.
This is hardly surprising when you consider that Welcome to the Jungle and The Next Level have combined to earn close to $1.8 billion at the box office and rank as the studio’s two highest-grossing films that aren’t related to either Spider-Man or James Bond, and with a relative lack of big name franchises at their disposal, Sony will be keen to milk the Jumanji cash cow for as long as possible.