Space Jam: A New Legacy dominates at the box office and beats expectations, taking down Marvel’s Black Widow.
By now, on social media, you’ve probably seen the chatter around LeBron James and Warner Brothers’ new Space Jam film. If you see any negative reviews, it’s immediately is attacked with comebacks like “it’s for the kids anyway,” which has helped keep movie goers’ minds clear and open to the film.
For the most part, everyone who has seen the film is reporting that they enjoyed it and it’s a great addition to the Space Jam universe–But following the pandemic, what’s really surprising is just how well the film did the opening weekend.
First, let’s go to the charts. Space Jam: A New Legacy opened in first this weekend with $31.7 million. That is the fifth best opening of the year – just ahead of WB’s Godzilla vs. Kong’s $31.6 million, if the estimates hold (and GvK had a two-day head start). That is also the best family-oriented opening of 2021, surpassing even Cruella’s four-day Memorial Day opening of $26.5 million. LeBron James fans may even point out that it is better than the $27.5 million start that Michael Jordan’s Space Jam kicked off with back in 1996. Though with inflation that was about a $47.6 million opening and the movie went on to make more than $156 million.
Marvel’s Black Widow reached one high peak already during the pandemic box office, which means it had the furthest to fall too. Its 67.2% drop from its opening of $80 million down to $26.3 million this weekend was the third-highest drop of the year for a wide release after Mortal Kombat fell 73.2% and Demon Slayer fell 69% in the same weekend. The positives still outweigh the setback, though, as the film managed to gross over $105 million in its first full week and will eventually be passing both F9 and A Quiet Place Part II to become the highest-grossing film (domestically) of the pandemic so far.
The Space Jam: A New Legacy rollout has been one of the most advertised ever with toys, Nike collaborations, Funko’s, billboards in every city, and even cereal box covers. It’s safe to say it all paid off and King James over-delivered for Warner Bros.