|Jumanji: The Next Level|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jake Kasdan|
by Chris Van Allsburg
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$796.6 million|
Jumanji: The Next Level is a 2019 American fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan and co-written by Kasdan, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg. It is a sequel to 2017's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, is the second follow-up to 1995's Jumanji, and is the fourth installment in the Jumanji franchise. It stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser'Darius Blain, and Madison Iseman reprising their roles from the previous film, while Awkwafina, Rory McCann, Danny Glover, and Danny DeVito also join the cast. The film's plot takes place three years after Welcome to the Jungle, in which the same group of teenagers, along with an old friend and two unwitting additions, become trapped in Jumanji. There, they all find themselves facing new problems and challenges with both old and new avatars, while having to save the land from a new villain in order to escape.
Principal photography took place during 2019, between January 21 to May 11 in locations including Atlanta, New Mexico, Alberta, and Hawaii, with much of the cast consisting of those from the previous film reprising their original roles for the sequel.
Jumanji: The Next Level was theatrically released in the United States on December 13, 2019, by Sony Pictures Releasing, under its Columbia Pictures label. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed $796.6 million worldwide against a $125 million budget, becoming the tenth highest-grossing film of 2019. A sequel is in development.
In 2019, three years after their adventure in Jumanji, Spencer Gilpin, Anthony "Fridge" Johnson, Martha Kaply, and Bethany Walker lead different lives, but plan a reunion brunch in Brantford, New Hampshire, that year. Spencer, apprehensive of the meeting due to depression, contemplates returning to Jumanji where he had purpose, and spends his first night looking over the broken video-game system he held onto. The following day, his friends visit his home, meeting with Spencer's grandfather Eddie, who is recovering from hip surgery, and Eddie's former friend and business partner Milo Walker, who is visiting for an unknown reason. Learning that they have no idea where Spencer is, the group searches the house and finds the Jumanji game partially repaired in the basement. Realizing Spencer returned to the game, his friends decide to follow him.
The game malfunctions when starting up, drawing in Fridge, Martha, Eddie and Milo, leaving Bethany and forcing her to contact fellow Jumanji alumnus Alex Vreeke for help. Inside the game, Martha finds herself as her avatar Ruby Roundhouse, yet Fridge becomes Bethany's avatar Professor Sheldon Oberon, while Eddie and Milo become avatars Dr. Smolder Bravestone and Franklin "Mouse" Finbar respectively. After instructing Eddie and Milo on the game's rules, the group encounters non-player character Nigel Billingsley, the game's guide, who reveals that since its last use, Jumanji is suffering from a massive drought. To leave the game, Nigel reveals that the group must recover the "Falcon Jewel" - a magical necklace stolen by warlord Jurgen the Brutal - which can end the drought if brought before sunlight and uttering "Jumanji".
Transported to a desert called the Dunes to track down Jurgen, and after narrowly escaping a flock of pursuing ostriches, the group encounters Spencer operating as skilled thief Ming Fleetfoot, a new avatar, who agrees to help them after blaming himself for their predicament. While attempting to escape the Dunes, the group faces new challenges and problems, along with collecting an in-game item called a Jumanji Berry, and discovering a pool of glowing green water that allows them to switch avatars. In the process, Eddie bickers with Milo, revealing their friendship ended when Milo sold a diner they owned behind Eddie's back, forcing him into retirement. During their argument, Eddie realises that Milo is terminally ill and wanted to make amends before he died - the two reconcile their differences with Eddie saving Milo's life during a Mandrill attack. After the group crosses a series of rope bridges they are reunited with Alex, as his avatar Jefferson McDonough, and Bethany, operating a new avatar called Cyclone - a black horse that can only be understood by Finbar.
Working together, the party leaves the Dunes, and finds a river with the same glowing green water, allowing Spencer, Bethany, and Fridge to become their original avatars, while Eddie and Milo respectively end up as Ming and Cyclone. Shortly after changing characters, Jurgen's mercenaries capture Eddie and Milo. The group infiltrates Jurgen's fortress separately to rescue teammates and steal the Falcon Jewel. When the confrontation turns into a battle, Spencer pursues Jurgen to his airship, while the others distract his men. Finding himself unable to best Jurgen, Spencer discovers he is weak to the Jumanji Berry, incapacitating him long enough to send him plummeting to his death in the wintery fog below. Discovering Cyclone has retractable wings that allow him to fly, Eddie and Milo work together to rescue Spencer and bring the recovered Falcon's Heart to the sun, calling out "Jumanji" and ending the drought.
Returning the necklace to Nigel for safekeeping, the group is surprised when Milo elects to stay behind and protect the land. Upon returning to the real world, Spencer decides to teach his grandfather about video games, while Eddie uses what he learned in the game to convince the owner of his old diner to hire him on as a manager, with his grandson and his friends turning up to enjoy a meal together.
In a mid-credits scene, the heating mechanic who Spencer's mother hired finally shows up, only to be drawn to the game, while Spencer and the others are surprised to witness a flock of ostriches rush past the diner.
In addition, the film also cast a number of actors for supporting roles, which included: Dania Ramirez as Jumanji NPC Flame; Massi Furlan as Jumanji NPC Switchblade; John Ross Bowie as Cavendish, a minion of Jurgen; and Lamorne Morris as a heater repairman. Lucy DeVito portrays Maiden, while Marin Hinkle returned alongside returning cast members from Welcome to the Jungle to reprise her role as Mrs. Gilpin. Ashley Scott was originally intended to also appear as herself, but her scenes were later dropped from the final edit.
After the release of the previous film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas had discussed in interviews what a possible Jumanji sequel would be about, including the possibility of the film exploring the origins of the titular game. Karen Gillan had also said that the alternate ending for Welcome to the Jungle would have left the door open for another movie. In February 2018, it was announced that Kasdan would direct the sequel, with Rosenberg and Pinkner again writing the script and Johnson, Hart, Black, and Gillan reprising their roles.
On February 22, 2019, Black confirmed the new film as being a fourth Jumanji film because of Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), serving as the second film and sharing continuity with the other films of the series, with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle serving as the third film. In July 2019, the film's title was revealed as Jumanji: The Next Level.
In January 2019, Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, and Danny Glover joined the film. In February 2019, Alex Wolff, Ser'Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner, and Nick Jonas were announced to reprise their roles. In March 2019, Dania Ramirez joined the cast of the film. That same month, it was announced Rhys Darby would reprise his role in the film. In May 2019, it was announced Colin Hanks would reprise his role.
Filming began on January 21, 2019, and took place in Atlanta, New Mexico, Calgary, Fortress Mountain Resort, Imperial Dunes, and Hawaii before wrapping on May 11. Johnson made a reported $23.5 million for his role.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released on December 13, 2019, in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, IMAX, IMAX 3D, 4DX, and ScreenX Formats. The movie was released on December 5, 2019, in China, Singapore, Malaysia, and several other Asian countries (and also in Czechia). In the Nordic countries and the Netherlands, the film premiered in cinemas on December 6, 2019. The film's Australian release date was December 26, 2019.
Jumanji: The Next Level grossed $316.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $479.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $796.6 million, against a production budget of about $125 million.Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $236million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Black Christmas and Richard Jewell, and was projected to gross $45-55 million from 4,227 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $19.7 million on its first day, including $4.7 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $59.3 million, topping the box office. It made $26.5 million in its second weekend, finishing second behind Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The following weekend the film made $35.3 million (a total of $59.2 million over the five-day Christmas frame), then $26.5 million the next, remaining in second behind The Rise of Skywalker both times.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 71% based on 233 reviews with an average rating of 6.04/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Like many classic games, Jumanji: The Next Level retains core components of what came before while adding enough fresh bits to keep things playable."Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 58 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 3.5 out of 5 stars, with 58% saying they would definitely recommend it.
Dwayne Johnson revealed in a December 2019 interview that another character in the world of Jumanji is an actual avatar, the villainous Jurgen the Brutal, and that it would be explored in a potential sequel. In March of 2020, writer/director Jake Kasdan confirmed early developments for a follow-up movie. He confirmed plans to maintain the core cast of the previous two films. The following month, the filmmaker stated that the story for the next installment is in development.