Jumanji 3, a sequel to last year's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, has been announced by Sony Pictures with a Christmas-time 2019 release date.
One of the most surprisingly entertaining movies of last year was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which ended up being a fun and heartwarming sequel / soft reboot to the original Jumanji from 1995. Rather than being a board game like the original, the new Jumanji took the form of a 90s video game, which added a clever new twist to the movie. Welcome to the Jungle certainly managed to stand out from the original, making itself into its own movie rather than serving as a rehash to the Robin Williams-led classic.
The announcement of a sequel doesn't come as too big of a surprise, considering the massive success Welcome to the Jungle had. The Jumanji sequel earned itself over $950 million globally, which was over triple the box office success of the first Jumanji. It ended up becoming Sony Pictures' highest grossing movie domestically, and their second highest grossing movie globally, resting only behind Skyfall.
Jumanji 3 was announced by Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman at CinemaCon 2018. While an exact release date was not given, the month of the release was revealed to be December of next year. The "three-quel" will most likely release on Christmas of 2019, if they are trying to repeat the success of the previous Jumanji movie by using the same, highly-profitable slot. If this is true, then it would put Jumanji 3 a mere 5 days after Star Wars: Episode IX. However, releasing right after a Star Wars movie didn't seem to hurt Welcome to the Jungle, so the people at Sony are probably not too worried.
Arguably, the biggest competition for Jumanji 3 if it is released on December 25, 2019, will be the highly-anticipated movie version of Wicked, the hit Broadway musical that fans have wanted to see on-screen for over a decade. However, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was also released on the same day as a different movie musical, The Greatest Showman, so hopefully things will still work out for Jumanji 3's success.
Welcome to the Jungle stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan are all set to return for the sequel, reprising their video game roles in the deep jungles of Jumanji. The return of these stars is sure to bring audiences back to the theater to see the third installment to the franchise, considering that these stars were arguably the best parts of the 2017 movie.
In addition to the stars, a majority of Welcome to the Jungle's creative crew is also slated to return. Director Jake Kasdan, who has also directed other comedies such as Bad Teacher and Sex Tape, is set to return to direct the follow-up to the previous Jumanji sequel. Additionally, co-writers Jeff Pinker and Scott Rosenberg will also be returning. Hopefully this writer / director team will be able to repeat the entertainment-level of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, while still making this third installment different enough from the previous movie.
All in all, this report from Deadline is good news for anyone who enjoyed last year's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Hopefully Jumanji 3 will live up to expectations and prove to be just as good, if not better, than the previous Jumanji movies, both of whom have been great.