EXCLUSIVE: We had been hearing throughout last weekend that Sony’s Dec. 8 sneak of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle drew sold out crowds in north of 1,200 major circuit theaters. And that was no line. Industry sources estimate that Sony grossed close to $2M from 7PM shows last Friday; a great figure during a very sleepy time at the box office.
Sell-out sneaks, especially when they’re free, are not a big deal. Read, Warner Bros. filled houses with sneaks of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword before it nosedived. But Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is different: People shelled out to see it in advance, and its B.O. demonstrates a high-level of want-to-see. Rivals are quite impressed and believe Jumanji will be the next best title at the holiday box office after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Also keep in mind that the regular Thursday night preview for an average release is typically built on two or three showtimes. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle made its moolah off one national showtime. Jumanji 2′s gross is more than the $1.25M Wednesday night earned by Dwayne Johnson’s Baywatch (true, an R-rated crowd), but it wasn’t that far from the $3.1M preview figure of his San Andreas.
The sneak was held 12 days in advance of the film’s Dec. 20 opening, and the opportunity to see it early on Dec. 8 was offered to Amazon Prime members. They had the option to purchase up to 10 tickets for the showing at one of more than 1,000 theaters across the country including Regal, ArcLight Cinemas, National Amusements theaters, and AMC theaters. Atom Tickets served as the exclusive ticketing platform for the Amazon Prime Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle screening on Dec 8. When users went to the Amazon site to buy tickets, they were redirected to Atom’s website.
Jumanji 2‘s sneak movie ticket sales will be rolled into the pic’s total domestic cume. Sony across six days expects the Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart-Jack Black-Karen Gillan film to make $45M, however, industry estimates believe it could go as high as $60M. Why is that? The last time Christmas fell on a Monday was 2006, and the family go-to title at the time was Night at the Museum which cleared $67.7M in its first six days.
Off 30 reviews, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle counts an 86% fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating. The film, inspired from the 1995 Robin Williams movie and Chris Van Allsburg book, follows four high school students who become absorbed into an adventure video game with very different avatars.