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Zathura (film)

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jon Favreau
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Zathura 
by Chris Van Allsburg
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Guillermo Navarro
Edited by Dan Lebental
Columbia Pictures[1]
Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing[1]
Release dates
  • November 11, 2005 (2005-11-11)
Running time
113 minutes
102 minutes (DVD cut)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65 million
Box office $64.3 million[2]

Zathura: A Space Adventure (or just Zathura) is a 2005 American science fiction fantasy adventure film directed by Jon Favreau, and is loosely based on the illustrated book Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg, author of Jumanji. The film stars Josh Hutcherson, Jonah Bobo, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart, and Tim Robbins.

The film was shot in Los Angeles and Culver City, California and was released on November 11, 2005 by Columbia Pictures.[3] Unlike the book, the film contains no Jumanji material and does not mention any Jumanji events. The film was however marketed as a spiritual sequel with the tagline "from the world of Jumanji comes Zathura". Despite positive reviews from critics, Zathura was a box office disappointment.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
  • Release 4
    • Critical reception 4.1
    • Box office 4.2
  • Related media 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Brothers Walter (Josh Hutcherson) and Danny (Jonah Bobo) can never seem to get along with each other, or with their older teen-aged sister, Lisa (Kristen Stewart). While staying at their divorced father's home while he is away at work and Lisa is asleep, the boys discover an old clockwork-driven space-themed board game called "Zathura" in the basement. The two begin to play the game, the goal to be the first to reach the final space named Zathura. During each turn, the game provides a card with instructions, but the two quickly realize the cards affect reality, starting with a meteor shower. They soon discover the house is floating on a small rock in outer space. Meanwhile, Lisa looks out the window, and believing it is merely dark, goes to shower for her date. When the boys try to warn Lisa about what has happened, they find she is frozen in cryonic sleep as a result of one of the cards. The brothers realize that the only way to end the game and hopefully return to Earth is to reach the end space of Zathura.

As they continue to play, Walter and Danny avoid the dangers that the game's cards throw at them like a defective

The Zorgons return to the house with a large fleet intent on destroying it. Danny makes a final move to land on Zathura. It is revealed that Zathura is a giant black hole that sucks up the Zorgon fleet and the house.

The three children then find themselves in the house as it was before they started the game on Earth, just as their father arrives home and their mother comes to pick them up. After they leave, their bicycle, which had been orbiting their house when it was in space, falls from the sky.




External links

  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b c "Zathura".  
  3. ^ Van Allsburg, Chris (November 2002). Zathura : a space adventure. Houghton Mifflin.  
  4. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Interview with "Zathura" Director Jon Favreau: Jon Favreau on the Practical Effects in "Zathura" and His Young Stars". Retrieved July 19, 2008. 
  5. ^ Murray, Rebecca. """Dax Shepard Discusses "Zathura": Interview with Dax Shepard at the LA Premiere of "Zathura. Retrieved July 19, 2008. 
  6. ^ Barker, Lynn (November 8, 2005). "Kristen Stewart: Zathura". TeenHollywood. II Inc. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  7. ^ Szymanski, Mike. "Interview: Jon Favreau and company get board with space exploration in Chris Van Allsburg's Zathura". Science Fiction Weekly. Archived from the original on June 17, 2008. Retrieved July 19, 2008. 
  8. ^ Robertson, Barbara (November 2005). "The Game's Afoot: Digital effects help shift time and space in the movie Zathura". Computer Graphics World 25: 18–23. 
  9. ^ Wolff, Ellen (November 11, 2005). "Imageworks Goes Retro Sci-Fi With Zathura". VFXWorld. AWN, Inc. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  10. ^ Whipp, Glenn (November 12, 2005). Zathura' creators shun sequel 'Jumanji' label"'". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Union-Tribune Publishing Co. Retrieved July 21, 2008. 
  11. ^ Soundtrack info
  12. ^ "Zathura (2005)".  
  13. ^ "From Suburbia and Stranded Somewhere Near Saturn".  
  14. ^ Zathura' Plays Well on the Big Screen"'".  
  15. ^ "Black Hole Fun". Luke Baumgarten, Pacific Northwest Inlander. 
  16. ^ "Zathura: Adventure is Waiting". Board Game Geeks. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 


[16] A board game was released by

Related media

The plot's similarities with Jumanji may have been its undoing, with one observer referring to it as "Jumanji in space without Robin Williams".[15]

Despite its reviews, the movie was considered a flop due to its $13,427,872 opening weekend gross, ranking only No. 2 for the weekend, far behind Disney's Chicken Little. Even worse, it lost 62% of its audience the next weekend, due to the significant opening of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It ended up grossing just $29,258,869,[2] less than half of its $65 million budget. The international box office total was $35,062,632, for a total of $64,321,501 worldwide, just under the film's budget.[2]

Box office

The film received mostly positive reviews from critics; it currently holds a 75% "Certified Fresh" approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[12] Stephen Holden of The New York Times said Zathura richly gratifies the fantasy of children; "not just to play a board game, but to project themselves into its world." [13] Desson Thomson of The Washington Post wrote that Zathura has "an appealing, childlike sense of wonder."[14]

Critical reception

The studio hyped the release of Zathura in an attempt to generate word of mouth, with tie-ins including an episode of The Apprentice showcasing its family appeal. It was one of the last major films to be released on VHS.


The soundtrack to the film is an original score by John Debney and is available on CD.[11]

Favreau discouraged the notion that the film is a sequel to the earlier Jumanji, having not particularly liked that film. Both he and author Chris Van Allsburg (who also wrote the book of the same name upon which Jumanji is based) stated that Zathura is very different from Jumanji.[10]

[9] According to Pete Travers, Visual Effects Supervisor on the film for Sony Pictures Imageworks, retaining the stylized "1950s sci-fi look" from Van Allsburg's book "was a very important aspect of the effects".[8]

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