Refresh for latest…: Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level is out in 18 early overseas release markets ahead of domestic next weekend, and in many, the movie is stepping up versus predecessor Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Overall, the Jake Kasdan-directed sequel opened to $52.5M at the international box office, slightly down on the last film’s $54.8M (at historical rates and in like-for-likes) while also lower than where the industry saw The Next Level ahead of the weekend — the culprit here is China.
There were 16 No. 1 openings for The Next Level across Europe and Asia, but rumble was lacking in the jungle in China as the film lags the previous installment with an estimated debut frame of $25.3M. It still topped the Middle Kingdom box office at No. 1 in a sluggish market where word of mouth is down, with a 6.2 on Douban and a 7.7 on Maoyan, versus the earlier film’s respective scores of 6.9 and 8.6.
Dwanye Johnson has a big base in the Middle Kingdom, but the movie didn’t pin audiences down as hoped. Across the board, industry sources we spoke with were seeing The Next Level in China coming in at around $40M before the session began. That led to those projections of a $60M+ overseas opening. But China was ultimately flat from Friday to Saturday with no family bump. It also didn’t help that Sony’s release date changed very close to the last minute. The Middle Kingdom authorities are in charge of dating, and backed The Next Level up from an original December 13 to December 6 which impacted the ability to get Johnson and others to Beijing, particularly as the Thanksgiving holidays were in the mix. A dedicated press day for key Chinese media and social influencers had been handled out of Cabo in November and the team then did a three-city European tour, which has paid dividends so far (France’s $5.7M weekend is 93% ahead of Welcome To The Jungle, for example).
China repped just 14% of the last film’s overseas gross and is not required to be the major driver on what last time around was a global property that took in nearly $1B worldwide. With domestic still to come next session and many overseas markets to go, it’s early to make a call on this one. The previous film had a wild multiple, playing as counter programming to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This year, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker starts rollout on December 18 internationally.
Numbers elsewhere in Europe and Asia on The Next Level are much better, relatively, than in China. The Netherlands opened 58% ahead of the last film and the Nordics combined outperformed it by 30%. South East Asia as a whole did 47% better than Jungle including Malaysia which scored the 2nd biggest opening of the year and the biggest Sony opening ever for the market.
Given the small share of markets, Jumanji: The Next Level was not expected to lead overseas play, and particularly with the Frozen 2 ice-grip on so much of overseas. That Disney movie added $90.2M this session in 48 offshore markets, retaining scores of No. 1s and seeing soft drops. The international cume is now $582.1M for $919.7M global as it looks towards $1B next weekend, and has helped push Disney past the $10B mark worldwide.
Breakdowns on the films above and more are being updated below.