FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sony Pictures Entertainment and Merlin Entertainments Join Forces to Bring Jumanji Brand to Life Through Global Strategic Collaboration
The exclusive agreement will bring the box office hit to life through a range of exclusive rides, lands, and themed hotel rooms across Merlin’s global network of Theme Parks and Waterparks in Europe, UK, and North America
Merlin Entertainments (“Merlin” or “the Company”), a global leader in location-based entertainment with brands including LEGOLAND®, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE, today announced that it has entered into a formal multi-territory exclusivity agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment, to develop and operate attractions, rides, lands, retail outlets and themed hotel rooms based on the studio’s box office hit Jumanji film franchise across Merlin’s Resort Theme Parks and Waterparks in Europe (including the UK) and North America.
The first Jumanji experience to be launched as part of the agreement will be the world’s first Jumanji ride, which will open in April this year at Merlin’s Gardaland Resort in Italy, with a second activation already in development at a different theme park for a 2023 launch.
Merlin is teaming up with Oceaneering and Framestore for the development of the Jumanji ride at Gardaland. The attraction will be called “Jumanji – the Adventure” and will transport guests to the fantastic world of Jumanji, where an exhilarating adventure awaits them: a journey full of pitfalls, surprises and dangers through the wild jungle. The new “Jumanji – the Adventure” attraction will be a dark ride for adventure lovers of all ages, designed to appeal to a wide audience of families, teenagers and young adults. “Jumanji – the Adventure” will open in April 2022, and will be complemented by the simultaneous launch of fully themed Jumanji hotel bedrooms.
The deal supports Merlin’s broader global strategy to engage and work with leading IP and brands across its global estate, with existing successful partnerships including LEGO, Marvel, Peppa Pig, and CBeebies. The agreement is also a pivotal step in Sony Pictures’ larger global strategy to grow and expand location-based entertainment by utilizing its strong global film and TV brands to create opportunities for audiences around the world to immerse themselves deeper into the studio’s stories.
The collaboration further builds on Merlin’s successful relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has already seen the previous roll out of two “in-attraction” themed experiences including the Ghostbusters 5D ride at Heide Park in Germany and the Ghostbusters experience at Madame Tussauds New York.
Chief Development Officer for Merlin Entertainments, Mark Fisher, said:
“We are excited to be taking our relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment to the next level with this strategic partnership. Sony are one of the top movie companies on the planet and Jumanji is a multi-billion-dollar brand which has appealed to guests of all ages, for over two decades. Our Merlin team are already hard at work developing brilliant creative concepts, which will bring to life the blockbuster-famous Jumanji film across our Theme Parks and Waterparks. We can’t wait to deliver thrilling rides and experiences for guests and film fans alike! The game is certainly on!”
Jeffrey Godsick, EVP of Global Partnerships and Brand Management and Head of Location Based Entertainment at Sony Pictures Entertainment said:
“Merlin is the ideal company to bring the world of Jumanji to life. Their commitment to strong storytelling, quality of craftsmanship and fantastic guest experiences ensure that fans of Jumanji will be fully immersed into the worlds of our films and have an unforgettable experience. I am very pleased to expand our relationship with the great team at Merlin.”
Ranked Europe’s top and the world’s second-largest tourist attraction operator, Merlin runs more than 135 tourist attractions in 24 countries across Europe, America, Asia and Oceania. Brands operated by Merlin include LEGOLAND®, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE and Peppa Pig.
Following on from the original Robin Williams film in 1995, the adventure continues in the brand-new film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. The film franchise’s continued success has made it Sony’s biggest wholly owned film franchise of all time. Taking over $2.1bn at the global box office the Jumanji film franchises are popular with both family and teenage audiences globally.
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About the Jumanji Film Franchise
Sony Pictures’ Jumanji film franchise, based on the award-wining children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, has taken in over $2.02 billion at the worldwide box office. Moviegoers were first introduced to the world in 1995 when a mysterious game transports its players to the jungles of Jumanji! The film starred the late Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce. Over 20 years later, the adventures continues in the brand-new film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), where the game changed as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji. When they discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of, they decide to play and are immediately thrust into the game’s jungle setting, in the bodies of the avatar characters they chose (Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan). What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – Jumanji plays you. To win, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in the game forever. Following the success of the 2017 film, the gang (Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan) is back in Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.
Jumanji (1995) was directed by Joe Johnston with a screenplay by Jonathan Hensleigh and Greg Taylor & Jim Strain. Screen Story by Greg Taylor & Jim Strain and Chris Van Allsburg. Produced by Scott Kroopf and William Teitler with Executive Producing services by Ted Field, Larry J. Franco and Robert W. Cort. The film also stars David Alan Grier, Jonathan Hyde and Bebe Neuwirth. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) was directed by Jake Kasdan with a screenplay by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner. Screen Story by Chris McKenna. Produced by Matt Tolmach and William Teitler, David Householter, Jake Kasdan, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Ted Field, and Mike Weber served as executive producers. The film also stars Nick Jonas and Bobby Cannavale. Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) was directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Jake Kasdan & Jeff Pinkner & Scott Rosenberg. Produced by Matt Tolmach, Jake Kasdan, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia, the film executive producers are David Householter, Melvin Mar, Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, William Teitler, Ted Field and Mike Weber. The film also stars Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, with Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.
About Merlin Entertainments
Merlin Entertainments is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe's Number 1 and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin operates over 139 attractions, 23 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 24 countries and across 4 continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to its millions of guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its employees.
See www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information and follow on Twitter @MerlinEntsNews
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Sony Pictures Television operates dozens of wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies around the world. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, Sony Pictures International Productions, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html