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– by Anthony Esteves

Two years ago, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle became a surprise blockbuster hit of the season. Opening a few days after the release of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, the adventure sequel starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black raked in over $950 million worldwide–on a budget of only $90 million. The film eventually surpassed Spider-Man (2002) as Sony’s highest-grossing film at the time. Now, two years later, the franchise looks to strike gold once again this holiday season.

Related – Sony Pictures Drops Character Posters For Jumanji: The Next Level

Current projections have the next chapter in the franchise, Jumanji: The Next Level, should hit $40 million in its opening weekend. This time around, Johnson and crew will have first dibs, opening one week before Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker hits theaters. It will be interesting to see if the film hits above or below that mark, given its differing release date from the previous installment. In 2017, the Jumanji sequel used its later release to its advantage, presenting a comedy-adventure alternative to the dramatic epic that is the Star Wars universe. This time around, The Next Level will need to attract audiences to the theaters a week earlier than they may have intended to.

Judging by the initial trailers for the film, the series will continue to bank on the comedic charisma between its stars, while adding the mixed up avatars angle and welcome additions of legendary actors Danny Glover and Danny DeVito. In less than a month, the world will know if that is enough to keep this sequel on the same track as its predecessor.

Jumanji: The Next Level hits theaters on December 13, 2020.

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SOURCE: Deadline