Let's face it; the odds were against Junamji: Welcome to the Jungle when it first came out.
Not only was it resurrecting an old family favourite, but it was going up against Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Dude. You don't go up against any Star Wars movie when you can possibly avoid it. You just don't.
But then the trailers started coming out. We saw the likes of The Rock, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Kevin Hart. And it looked interesting. It looked funny. It looked... absolutely unique, actually.
That's what really got a lot of fans interested in it, and it's why it did so well; despite The Last Jedi fully being predicted to take all the sales at the box office.
Boy were they wrong.
The Last Jedi opened strong, but audiences slowly began to drop off.
But as for Jumanji? It really held its own - mainly due to some great reviews and the power of word of mouth.
And now, we're in for a strong sense of de'ja vu, with Jumanji: The Next Level going up against Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
How are the producers feeling about this? Well, Cinemablend sat down with producers Matt Tolmach and Hiram Garcia to get the goss:
Hiram Garcia: We were very aware [at the time] of, like, as giant Star Wars fans, the amount of times we were like, ‘Bro, we're going against Star Wars? Is everyone sure?’ And especially with that movie, there was so much buzz around [The Last Jedi] and what was going to happen. We had a ton of moments where like, ‘Are we really sure that we want to come out against Star Wars?’
Matt Tolmach: There’s never a good window. And you have to believe in the movie. And what we all got very clear about is, it’s the right time for this movie. When you're having a conversation about release dates, obviously you have to be aware of what else is on your date or close to your date. But to the extent that a movie can actually capture the spirit of a time of year, that this is a holiday movie, that it's a movie about people coming together and being there for each other, which is sort of in the holiday tradition, it just felt like it was good timing. And you know, we had a few fairly major movie stars in our arsenal also. We were showing up with the goods, but still it was, it was super, super daunting.
It may be daunting, but the guys seem confident enough, though.
Hiram Garcia: The one thing that we felt confident about is that Star Wars still is a tone in itself. And the thing that we had that we felt really good about was that we felt we were an eight-to-80 movie that like, on a holiday, when the family's together and everyone's deciding, ‘All right, we've all seen Star Wars. What do we see next?’ We’re the movie that we know from the little kids to grandma, there's going to be jokes in there, there's going to be fun in there and you're going to leave having a big fun, good time with our movie. And that was the thing that we always felt confident with. So, we're, never trying to dethrone Star Wars. We just want to coexist with it.
Hmmmm. Will things play out the same? Will it go really quite differently indeed? Who knows. You can catch Jumanji on December 15th, before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker fills out theatres on December 20th, innit.