Magazine article Variety

Welcome to the Escape Room

Magazine article Variety

Welcome to the Escape Room

Article excerpt

IF YOU TRULY LOVE a movie, there are countless ways to extend your experience beyond the theater, ranging from merchandise to theme parks. And now, fans of the worldwide hit "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" can enjoy possibly the most immersive encounter imaginable: an escape room.

The past five years have seen a huge rise in the popularity of such rooms, in which a group of people are locked in a space and must figure out puzzles and clues within a certain amount of time to get out. One of the first and most popular escape room companies is 60out, originally Escape Key Entertainment, which boasts seven locations, mainly in Los Angeles, and 20 rooms with a wide variety of themes and difficulty levels.

In collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind "Jumanji," the company has just launched its "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" escape room at its Melrose Avenue location. Written by Damian Cole Bosiacki, Pavel Zorin and Vladimir Zakhozha, the story for the room cleverly incorporates elements from the Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart hit. Bosiacki, director of operations at 60out, calls it an exciting time for the escape room industry and sees growth in the business. "We hope our experience creates more opportunities for other escape room companies and producers of immersive entertainment to establish partnerships with major players in the entertainment world," he says.

Bosiacki says the idea with "Jumanji" was to extend the narrative within the movies' world. "The whole process, from development to production, is very similar to film and TV," he says. "Except the beta-testing part, where you're working out all the kinks. …

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