The box office juggernaut Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle crossed $300 million internationally Thursday, a day before the film opened in China. Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black, the sequel to the late Robin Williams’ 1995 action comedy hit has maintained huge box office momentum since its opening in theaters domestically December 20.
Beginning with a solid $36 million opening weekend against Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, the film picked up steam to beat the space opera at the New Year’s Day box office. Since then, the film has left The Last Jedi in the dust, and with impressive numbers both stateside and overseas, and crossed the $500 million global box office mark earlier this week.
Now, according to Deadline, the Jumanji sequel has hit another high-water mark by crossing $300 million at the international box office, earning $307.4 through Thursday. What makes the feat more impressive, though, is that the film didn’t open in China until Friday, where it earned $12 million. With China traditionally providing the most lucrative box office numbers of all foreign territories as the second-largest moviegoing market in the world, the film is looking at making a pretty significant financial haul.
Meanwhile, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle looks to add on to its impressive domestic total over the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, as Deadline estimates it will take in another $30 million for another No. 1 finish. Through Friday, the film has made more than $262 million domestically. The film is expected to easily top new wide releases Paddington 2, The Commuter and Proud Mary, as well as director Steven Spielberg’s The Post, which is expanding to a wider platform of 2,819 theaters following its awards-qualify run in show houses in December.
It’s hard to tell where Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle achieved its momentum both domestically and overseas, but it’s likely due to the worldwide draw Johnson has almost consistently shown (remember Baywatch?) since he joined the Fast and Furious franchise. Another possible reason the film is resonating with audiences could be its nostalgia factor, either because of the love fans had for the original, or the film’s throwback narrative, which finds replaces the 1995 board game with a 1990s era video game, or both.
No matter the reason, the true key to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s international success will be determined this weekend as the China box office shakes out. By all indications, The Rock’s film will continue to roll, but as The Last Jedi recently proved, no film – even films in the Star Wars saga appear to be a sure thing. Following an underwhelming opening in China a week ago with $28.7 million for a second-place finish, the film’s business soon after plunged by more than 90 percent.