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Unconventional approach helped Sony turn 'Jumanji' into box office hit

Struggling movie segment pulls off its highest grossing film ever

Jumanji has also taken Asia by storm thanks to its action hero lead, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. (Photo by Yoshino Sakurai)

TOKYO -- A drought of box office hits has left Sony's movie business wandering in the desert of late. But it finally found an oasis in "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," which has won fans in the U.S. and Asia.

The film has grossed $940 million at the box office since its release in December, surpassing 2002's "Spider-Man" as Sony Pictures' highest-grossing independent production. "It was a huge hit around the world, more than we expected," said Naomi Nakazawa, senior vice president at Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan). The movie is a remake of the 1995 original about four high school students who get trapped in a board game.

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