A team of friends return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own but discover that nothing is as they expect. The players need to brave parts unknown, from arid deserts to snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.

Jumanji: The Next Level is opening a week before Star Wars. The Rise of Sky walker, instead of the Christmas weekend like last time. So, weirdly enough we now have Jumanji opened two weeks before Christmas, Jumanji opening one week before Christmas back in 1995 and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opening over Christmas weekend in 2017. The good news is that folks who liked the previous Jake Kasdan directed action comedy will find much of the same here.

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It’s the same cast (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan) and at least some of the video game-specific rules lending themselves to comic beats and plot twists. The notion of the avatars being played by different people this time, including Danny DeVito and Danny Glover, adds a little bit to the proceedings in terms of being new. But when the last version makes nearly $1 billion worldwide. I guess you don’t want to mess with the formula that much.
Still, nobody was expecting Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle top leg it from a $53 million Wed-Sun debut to $404 million domestic (Sony’s biggest North American grosser ever) and $962 million worldwide (second globally for Sony only to Sky fall). Part of that was the skewed Christmas calendar. The film opened with $7.2 million on opening day, had its first Monday fall on Christmas Day and didn’t dip below $7.2 million until day 15 of its domestic run. The Next Level will be playing on a more conventional mid-December playing field.

The Next Level, produced by Matt Tolmach, Jake Kasdan, Dwayne

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