Dwayne Johnson is no stranger to having his movies dominate the Netflix charts. Today, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is ranked the fifth most popular title around the world. The movie is currently unavailable on Netflix in the US, showing just how many people everywhere else are watching the 2017 movie right now.
When the Jumanji reboot was first announced, there was an internet outcry at the idea. Fans loved the 1990s version with Robin Williams, who is much missed. As with many reboots of beloved titles, fans were skeptical. When the movie came out, Dwayne Johnson proved his power with franchises once again. Audiences loved it. The movie hit big at the box office, earning $962.1 million globally. This means that many people have already seen it, but once it was available on Netflix, people jumped on anyway. This speaks to a rewatchable factor that can work well to keep interest in the series alive while we wait on the next Jumanji.
While actors like Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gilian, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart are certainly part of what makes Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle such a fun movie, the story was also smart about how it handled the reboot. It didn’t invest so much in a nostalgia factor as it did in creating something entirely new. This movie wasn’t targeted at fans wanting a second go-around for Robin Williams’ Jumanji. It’s a fresh story with the same concept.
In Welcome to the Jungle, four kids are magically transported into an old video game. Those kids are then “playing the game” in the bodies of the four main actors. The four of them are then running around the jungle, playing the game, and making joke after joke. Jumanji isn’t so much about the storyline as it is about the characters playing off of each other. Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are famous best friends who’ve been in several movies together, and that dynamic shines in this movie.
Two years after the success of Welcome to the Jungle, Dwayne Johnson returned for a sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level. This one didn’t do quite as well with audience reviews or with the box office, but it was close. It guest starred Awkwafina, Danny Glover, and Danny DeVito.
It’s important to note here that numbering for these movies can be confusing. While the first Jumanji with The Rock is sometimes called the first movie, it is often considered a sequel to the Robin Williams movie, making it Jumanji 2, depending on who you’re talking to. Filmmaker Jake Kasdan counts the first Dwayne Johnson movie, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as number one in the franchise. This is of note since we are currently waiting on either the third or fourth movie. However you wish to number it, there is another one coming, possibly in late 2021.
Dwayne Johnson was already a star when Welcome to the Jungle came out. The movie was another project that proved his power when it comes to franchises. Today, studios depend more on franchises than movie stars to make a movie sell. There is an assumption that, for the most part, audiences will choose a movie in a franchise they know and love over one that just has an actor they know and love. Dwayne Johnson is one of the mega stars of today who has proven to be well and able to bring franchises to life, something studios are definitely looking for. It’s part of what keeps his schedule so busy.
While there may be a wait for the next Jumanji installment, you can keep an eye on Netflix for more from Dwayne Johnson soon. Red Notice will be released on the streaming service in the first half of 2021.