Jumanji: The Next Level is playing on screens across the world now, and there are a lot of questions in the air around the future of the franchise. One of the most interesting questions the film addresses is the way forward after the movie, and there’s a post-credit scene to help. *Spoilers on the way for Jumanji: The Next Level.* So, when the movie concludes in Nora’s cafe with the friends all assembled to destress after the grand adventure. The game is done for now, but Spencer’s mom, Marin Hinkle in the role, is still waiting on that repair person to come get the heater working again. In a very surprising twist, Lamorne Morris (New Girl) comes waltzing in as the man with technical knowledge to solve that problem. But, when he goes down to the basement to fix the broken appliance, that mysterious game console catches his eye. Morris is a bit of a gamer and can’t help walking towards it. Then, flashing back to the group in the cafe, the audience sees a bunch of ostriches running past where they are. So, it could be a case of the third film in the current iteration of the franchise having to deal with the strangeness from the game in the real world. But, fans will have to wait and see.
If the Rotten Tomatoes scores for the movie are any indication, there will be more adventures in the future. For the critics score, Jumanji: The Next Level opened with a 67% freshness rating, which is right in line with the movie that came before it. Meanwhile, audiences have really been enjoying the feature as it opened with an 87% audience score. In the same vein as other mid-level attractions not associated with DC or Marvel superheroes, Jumanji has managed to carve out a nice niche for itself of action-comedy fans looking for a nice energetic film. Having Kevin Hart, The Rock, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan doesn’t hurt either.
Next week will bring a bigger test for the film as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker saunters into theaters. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle also had to contend with a Star Wars movie in The Last Jedi. It managed to hold its own in the face of a giant franchise, and this one looks on pace to eclipse the $36 million that the previous film brought in. The Hollywood Reporter’s tracking numbers propose a $40-$50 million opening weekend for The Next Level and Sony’s predictions aren’t far behind at $35 million.
That sequel won’t probably appear for at least a year, but Jake Kasdan and the rest of the creative team should be very proud of their output. Leaning hard into what was so fun about the previous film looks like it is paying dividends. It is also striking that these movies have proved to be an acting showcase for all the main cast and show that all of them can really channel these other actors in ways people might not have believed they could have. If everything goes well at the box office this week, it could be full steam ahead.
Jumanji: The Next Level is now in theaters.