Sony Pictures Entertainment, Merlin Entertainments Collaborate on ‘Jumanji’

Exclusive agreement will bring the film franchise to life through exclusive rides, lands and themed hotel rooms.
License Global

March 18, 2022

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Sony

Merlin Entertainments, creator of location-based entertainment with brands including LEGOLAND, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life, has announced 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 “Jumanji” film franchise across Merlin’s resort theme parks and waterparks in Europe (including the U.K.) and North America.  

The first “Jumanji” experience to launch as part of the agreement will be the world’s first “Jumanji” ride, opening this April at Merlin’s Gardaland Resort in Italy, with a second activation 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, “Jumanji” – the Adventure, will transport guests to the fantastic world of “Jumanji”, 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. The ride will be complemented by the simultaneous launch of “Jumanji”-themed 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 relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has already seen the rollouts 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.   

“We are excited to be taking our relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment to the next level with this strategic partnership,” says Mark Fisher, chief development officer, Merlin Entertainments. “Sony is 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!” 

“Merlin is the ideal company to bring the world of Jumanji to life,” says Jeffrey Godsick, executive vice president, global partnerships and brand management and head, location-based entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment. “Their commitment to strong storytelling, quality of craftsmanship and fantastic guest experiences ensures 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.” 

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 “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.  

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