‘Jumanji’ Franchise Extending To Theme Parks, Rides, Hotels & More As Sony & Merlin Entertainments Make Pact
Sony Pictures Entertainment and theme-park corp Merlin Entertainments are teaming to extend the Jumanji brand through a range of exclusive rides, lands, retail outlets, and themed hotel rooms across the latter’s global network of theme parks and waterparks in Europe, UK, and North America.
The first experience to be launched will be the first Jumanji ride —Jumanji – the Adventure– opening in April at Merlin’s Gardaland Resort in Italy, with a second activation already in development at a different theme park next year.
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Merlin is teaming up with Oceaneering and Framestore for the development of the Jumanji ride at Gardaland. The attraction will transport guests to the fantastic world of the Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart-Jack Black-Karen Gillan movie, where there’s a journey full of pitfalls, surprises and dangers through a wild jungle. The theme park ride will be complemented by the simultaneous launch of fully themed Jumanji hotel bedrooms.
Merlin Entertainments’ theme parks and experiences include LEGOLAND, Madame Tussauds and SEA LIFE. The company counts 135 tourist attractions in 24 countries across Europe, America, Asia and Oceania. The new multi-territory deal supports Merlin’s broader global strategy to engage and work with leading IP and brands which already include LEGO, Marvel, Peppa Pig, and CBeebies. The agreement is also a pivotal step for Sony to exploit its film and TV franchises across other ancillaries.
Merlin and Sony already collaborated on 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.”
Through three movies, the first being the 1995 movie starring Robin Williams, the Jumanji movies, which also include 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and 2019’s Jumanji: The Next Level, have grossed $2.1 billion at the global box office.
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