'Jumanji': Here's when a remake is arriving in theaters
Sony Pictures is reportedly working on a remake of the 1995 movie starring Robin Williams. How have live-action kids' movies recently performed at the box office?
The 1995 film “Jumanji” is reportedly officially being remade.
Sony Pictures recently announced that a new version of the story will be released in December 2016. It joins “Rogue One,” the “Star Wars” film, and “The Greatest Showman on Earth,” a movie about P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman, in that month.
The original version of “Jumanji” starred Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, and Bonnie Hunt. In the movie, Alan (Williams) has been living inside a board game of Jumanji for many years. He’s released when two children begin playing it, but various wild animals are coming out of the game as well.
“Jumanji,” which is based on the book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, did very well at the box office, coming in seventh domestically for the year.
Along with the upcoming movie “Goosebumps,” which is scheduled to be released this October and is based on R.L. Stine’s children’s series of the same name, a new version of “Jumanji” seems to be aimed at younger moviegoers. Many successful films aimed at children are currently animated, like Pixar or Disney animated films, unlike "Goosebumps" or "Jumanji."
In the top-grossing movies of 2014, the first 20 mostly consist of films aimed at teens like "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1" or superhero movies that could be too violent for younger kids, depending on parents' guidelines. Young moviegoers are represented in the top 20 highest-grossing 2014 movies by animated films like "Big Hero 6" and "The Lego Movie." Recent live-action films for younger kids like 2014's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" and 2012's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" did fine but weren't breakout hits. 2011's "The Smurfs" was a hit, but its fellow children's movies in the top 20 for the year are animated fare "Cars 2," "Kung Fu Panda 2," "Rio," and "Puss in Boots."
Recent movies that could be considered for the whole family have trended darker and scarier – for example, the "Harry Potter" movie series has a lot of battles. This is changing a bit with new Disney live-action adaptations like this year's hit "Cinderella," however.
As for films being marketed more towards kids, with the success of the “Goosebumps” books and the good reputation of the first “Jumanji” film, perhaps they can both bring in young moviegoers.