‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Charging Toward $45 Million Opening

Early tracking for Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” indicates a six-day opening in the $40 million to $45 million range when it debuts on Dec. 20.

Definite awareness for the “Jumanji” reboot is around 50%, while 9% of moviegoers said it was their first choice to see over the weekend. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is opening five days after Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” — which has been forecast to open in the $200 million range domestically.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” was the top Christmas holiday title among the early tracking numbers released Thursday. Universal’s comedy “Pitch Perfect 3,” which opens on Dec. 22, is projected for a four-day opening in the $30 million range.

Fox’s “The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman as “Barnum and Bailey” founder P.T. Barnum, is tracking to post a solid six-day opening in the $20 million range following its Dec. 20 launch.

Amazon Prime members will have a chance to see “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” in 1,000 theaters across the country on Dec. 8 in a special promotion, 12 days before the official opening.

The movie follows four high schoolers who discover an old video game and get sucked into its jungle setting. They take on the avatars of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan, and must play against type (a meek high school student becomes Johnson’s muscle-bound explorer Dr. Smolder Bravestone, while it-girl Bethany becomes Black’s Professor Shelly Oberon) to escape the jungle and return to the real world — before they’re stuck in the game forever.

The film is directed by Jake Kasdan from a screenplay by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner with a screen story by McKenna, based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg. The film is produced by Matt Tolmach and William Teitler.

The original “Jumanji,” starring the late Robin Williams, did big business for Sony’s TriStar Pictures in 1995, grossing $262 million worldwide. That movie found two children playing the “Jumanji” board game, unwittingly releasing Williams’ Alan Parrish, who had been trapped in the game for years.

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