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– by David Kozlowski

Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle might be the biggest story of 2017 (and now 2018) that no one is talking about. So let’s talk about it. Going into the Christmas movie season, we were all fixated on a bunch of big stories: The Last Jedi, what did or did not happen with Justice League, and the crazy year that was 2017 at the movies (including Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, It, Thor: Ragnarok). Notice how I didn’t mention Jumanji?

Jumanji is, of course, a reboot/continuation of the Robin Williams family-in-a-board-game fantasy film, which was a top 10 hit back in 1995. The reboot swapped board game for video game, cast Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black, and then set its release date for the week following The Last Jedi, bless their hearts. We all had a great chuckle at that move — I’m still laughing now; the absurdity of such a decision. Four weeks later, nobody’s laughing.

Related – Jumanji First Reactions Hit…And They Are Surprisingly Strong!

Jumanji is defying the odds and performing like a beast at the box office. It was the number 8 movie of 2017 (in just two weeks). And it hasn’t slowed down yet. Over the MLK weekend, Jumanji remained the number one movie domestically — for the third week in a row — and its now eclipsed Justice League. Jumanji now stands at a whopping $666 million worldwide on a scant $90 million budget, as reported by our friends at Box Office Mojo. If anyone at Sony told you this was their expectation, they’re lying.

What’s happening here is remarkable, particularly when you weigh it against The Last Jedi, which is fading fast — yet still came in at number six this past weekend. (Again, no one is shedding tears for The Last Jedi.) After Jumanji‘s soft opening weekend ($16 million) it roared back in week two ($102 million) — a +516 percent increase! Over the next two weeks the film has barely declined; typically, most films lose about 50 percent of its audience each week.

The scary thing is, there’s really no competition for Jumanji movie until Marvel’s Black Panther hits… a month from now!

The full story of Jumanji has not been told yet, but Sony must be doing backflips (and its a good bet that we’ll be looking at Jumanji sequels until the end of time). The setup for this film is great, and it’s easy to imagine a rotating cast, different locations, and more of the slapstick and over-the-top video game action as a highly-repeatable formula. Jumanji knows what it is, and it’s clearly just what audiences are looking for. What a year.

Have you seen Jumanji yet? Why do you think its doing so well? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Box Office Mojo

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.