Jumanji: The Next Level

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Adventure Comedy;
Box Office $316.83 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for adventure action, suggestive content and some language.
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Danny Glover, Danny DeVito, Colin Hanks, Rhys Darby, Rory McCann.

The creative team behind 2017’s surprise blockbuster Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle returns to deliver a worthy sequel that is just as entertaining as its predecessor.

The new story provides a mostly familiar setting with enough new elements to freshen up the formula a bit without straying too far from what audiences came to love about the previous film.

In the new film, the teenagers who beat the game before have drifted apart a bit as they head off to college, where Spencer (AlexWolff) begins to feel out of place in the world. When he returns home for the holidays to find his grandfather (Danny DeVito) staying in his old room, he yearns to once again become the hero of the video game, which, it turns out, he salvaged from the garbage heap the group left it in at the end of the previous movie.

When his friends come looking for him and discover he re-entered the game, they follow him in to help bring him out, thinking it should be too hard considering they already beat the game and will know what to expect. This time, though, they inadvertently bring bystanders into the game, resulting in many of the players not having the same avatars they had the last time, giving the actors plenty of chances to play each other. As an added complication, the game’s story has changed, with the characters’ abilities shifting to match.

As a result, the audience knows just enough about the rules of the game to have fun anticipating what will come next, while the particulars are just different enough to keep viewers guessing. Like before, a huge part of the film’s charm is the way it spoofs both video games and Indiana Jones-type adventure serials, only this time around the audience’s pre-existing affection for the characters makes watching them take advantage of their experience of having played before all the more satisfying.

Follow us on Instagram!

The film also smartly takes the adventure out of the jungle for the most part, changing the scenery to deserts and frozen mountains, which at least gives the film a new visual flair to play with. And there’s also a nice little lesson about friendship and teamwork.

In pushing out two movies, though, the filmmakers have probably milked as much from the concept as they can, which is why the film sets up another sequel that promises to mix things up a bit and take the franchise back to the roots of the original 1995 film.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The home video editions of the film come with a ton of extras that play on the winning chemistry of the cast. Many of these come in the form of promotional videos, such as the minute-long “Grow Up,” in which Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart learn how to impersonate Dannys DeVito and Glover. “Trick or Treat” features Hart arriving at Johnson’s house at Halloween dressed in The Rock’s sweater and fanny pack from an infamous 1990s photo. Other videos put the cast in a telenovela and tease Awkwafina’s thieving skills. But the most intriguing might be the three-minute “NPC Confessions: Jurgen the Brutal,” an in-depth analysis with candid insights of the film’s new villain, played by Rory McCann of “Game of Thrones” fame.

These are accompanied by a five-and-a-half-minute gag reel.

In a throwback to the extras of the previous movie, “Rhys Darby Wants to Jingle” is a two-and-a-half-minute video in which Darby, who plays the game’s narrator and guide, wants to do his own music video to match the one the cast, sans him, did for the previous film.

Three behind-the-scenes featurettes total about 23 minutes and cover the basics from the story creation to the cast dynamics and the visual effects. The Blu-ray and digital editions also include lengthy breakdowns of the ostrich chase and monkey attack sequences, plus VFX pre-vis reels of the zeppelin battle and ostrich chase compared with the final versions of the scenes. These are about five minutes each.

The Blu-ray includes a fold-out map of Jumanji with an interactive AR game.

Digital versions on Vudu also include a “Get in the Game Mode,” which uses on-screen graphics that pop up as the movie plays to offer such information as trivia, statistics and character power levels during fights. This provides an added bit of fun to the video game spoof aspect of the film.

Sony Pictures Ups Q3 Theatrical Revenue 76%

Sony Pictures Entertainment Feb. 1 reported third-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018) theatrical revenue of $532 million, up 76% from revenue of $302 million in the previous-year period.

Total revenue topped $2.45 billion, up 6.5% from $2.3 billion last year. Operating income increased nearly 10% to $102 million from $93 million.

Principle box office drivers included sci-fi thriller Venom, starring Tom Hardy, with $855 million in global revenue, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, with $225 million.

In the previous-year period, top box office titles included Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($329 million) and Blade Runner: 2049 ($163 million).

Subscribe HERE to our FREE daily newsletter!

On the retail side, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment generated revenue of $320 million, down less than 4% from revenue of $331 million in the previous-year period. Through nine months of the fiscal year, home entertainment revenue was up 3% at $713 million from $692 million during the previous-year period.

Home entertainment releases in the quarter included Venom, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, The Equalizer 2, Alpha and Hotel Transylvania 3 : Summer Vacation.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Hotel Transylvania 3, Blade Runner 2049 and Spider-Man: Homecoming were the top-selling SPHE titles released on DVD/Blu-ray Disc in 2018 – with combined revenue of $140.6 million, according to The-Numbers.com. .

 

Amazon Prime Jumpstarts ‘Aquaman’ Domestic Theatrical Release with $3 Million Sneak Screening

Amazon continues to flex third-party revenue opportunities through its Prime membership base.

The e-commerce behemoth reportedly helped generate almost $3 million in ticket sales for Warner Bros.’ upcoming DC superhero movie Aquaman, following a Dec. 15 sneak screening. The tally beat Amazon’s previous $1.8 million collaboration with Sony Pictures for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Working with Atom Tickets, Amazon enabled Prime members to purchase up to 10 tickets for the special screening available at more than 1,200 theaters nationwide,including AMC, Regal, National Amusement Theaters and ArcLight Cinemas.

Paid sneak screenings – unlike free previews – reportedly offer studios a better estimate how movies will perform under general release.

Directed by James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious), Aquaman stars Jason Momoa in the title role, in addition to co-stars Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Nicole Kidman, among others.

The movie, which opens Dec. 21, has already generated $261.3 million in foreign box office revenue.

Amazon, which has more than 100 million Prime members, first began leveraging its user base via Prime Video Channels (formerly Amazon Channels) affording third-party streaming video platforms such as Starz, Showtime OTT and HBO Now direct access to its members, while handling billing and backend support in exchange for a percentage of revenue.

Indeed, parent companies of Showtime, CBS All Access, Starz and HBO Now have attributed much of their subscriber gains to Amazon.

 

 

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Posts Flat Q2 Revenue

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Oct. 30 reported second-quarter (ended Sept. 30) revenue of $159 million, down less than 2% from $162 million during the previous-year period.

Through the year-to-date fiscal year, home entertainment revenue is up nearly 9% to $393 million compared to $361 million last year.

Releases in the quarter included The Leisure Seeker, The Good Doctor: Season 1, The Blacklist: Season 5, Superfly andFraggle Rock: The Complete Series. Releases in the previous-year period included Smurfs: The Lost Village, Resident Evil: Vendetta, The Blacklist: Season 4, Rough NightandStarship Troopers: Traitor of Mars.

Top-selling SPHE discs in 2018 remain Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with $56.7 million in revenue via more than 2.5 million combined DVD/Blu-ray Discs units sold; Peter Rabbit($17.4 million) through 932,000 discs, and Spider-Man: Homecoming($8.2 million, 630,000), according to The-Numbers.com.

Overall, Sony Pictures posted operating income of $23.5 million on revenue of $241 million. That compared to operating income of $7.7 million on $244 million during the previous-year period.

Theatrical revenue declined due to year-over-year comparisons with Spider-Man: Homecomingin the previous-year quarter.

The studio is projecting operating income of $50 million on revenue of $1 billion for the fiscal year, ending March 31, 2019. That’s up from $44 million and $990 million in revenue during the previous (July) projection.

Sony generated $41.1 million in operating incomes on $1.01 billion in revenue in fiscal-year 2017.

 

 

Sony Pictures Ups Q1 Home Entertainment Revenue 17%

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment July 31 reported first-quarter (ended June 30) revenue of $234 million, up 17.5% from revenue of $199 million during the previous-year period.

The studio attributed the increase to sales of new releases and catalog titles, including Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

The two titles have generated nearly $60 million in combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc revenue this year, with Jumanji the fourth best-selling release of the year thus far, according to The-Numbers.com.

SPHE’s top-selling new releases in the quarter based on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital revenue (electronic sellthrough and VOD distributed on cable, broadcast, satellite and digital platforms, as well as hotel pay-per-view), included: Insidious: The Last Key, Golden Exits, All the Money in the World, Proud Mary, Outlander: Season 3, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Peter Rabbit, A Fantastic Woman, Loveless and Paul, Apostle of Christ.

Indeed, Peter Rabbit has generated revenue $11.1 million on sales of 607,000 combined DVD/Blu-ray discs. Outlander: Season 3 has generated revenue of $6.1 million on sales of 189,000 discs, while Insidious: The Last Key has generated $3.3 million on 174,000 discs.

Home entertainment releases in the current quarter (ending Sept. 30) include Finding Your Feet, The Leisure Seeker, Final Portrait, The Good Doctor: Season 1, The Blacklist: Season 5 and Superfly.

Television production revenue increased slightly to $267 million from $265 million last year. Theatrical revenue dropped nearly 27% to $95 million from $129 million last year.

Overall, Sony Pictures Entertainment narrowed its operating loss to $69.6 million on revenue of $1.6 billion. That compared to an operating loss of $85.4 million on revenue of $1.85 billion last year.

 

Sony Ups Q4 Home Entertainment Revenue

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment April 27 reported fourth-quarter (ended March 31) revenue of $290 million, which was up nearly 6% from revenue of $274 million during the previous-year period.

For the fiscal year, revenue dipped 5% to $982 million from $1 billion in the previous year.

Lone home entertainment release in the quarter – box office hit, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle– was released just 11 days before the end of the quarter.

Top-selling discs in the quarter included Spider-Man: Homecoming, which generated $1.7 million in combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc unit sales, according to The-Numbers.com. The title has generated $50 million in disc sales since its Oct. 17, 2017 retail release.

Baby Drivergenerated $16.7 million, while Josh Brolin’s forest fire bio-pic, Only the Brave, generated $5.6 million, and animated movie, The Star, generated $4.7 million.

Overall, theatrical revenue in the quarter increased 7% to $1.35 billion from $1.26 billion last year. Fiscal year revenue increased 8% to $4 billion from $3.7 billion.

Operating income for the fiscal year bounced back into the black at $841 million compared to a $962 million loss last year following an impairment charge.