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‘Black Widow’ Expected to Fend Off ‘Space Jam 2’ at Box Office This Weekend

The horror sequel ”Escape Room: Tournament of Champions“ also hits theaters

Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow” might peel away potential theatrical revenue as it streams as a paid attraction on Disney+, but it’s still expected to hit the $100 million mark prior to this weekend. And it’s also projected to hold onto No. 1 against the debut of Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”

The live-action/animated film is projected by both studios and trackers to earn round $20 million in its opening weekend. Like all of Warner Bros.’ 2021 films, it will be released in theaters and on HBO Max at no extra charge.

“Space Jam” is ostensibly a film for family audiences, but it remains to be seen whether kids and their parents become the core demographic, or if it will be driven more by millennial nostalgia for the original “Space Jam,” released 25 years ago. Animated films like “Luca” and “The Boss Baby: Family Business” have become major players in Hollywood’s hybrid release experiment, in part because a home release option can appeal to families looking for a cheaper way to watch new films.

“Black Widow,” meanwhile, is expected to take a drop of around 65% from its post-pandemic high $80 million opening, which would put it at around $28 million. Through Tuesday, the film has grossed $95.1 million, adding $7.1 million yesterday for the highest post-pandemic Tuesday total.

Also opening this weekend is the Sony horror film “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions,” which is projected for a $7-8 million opening. By comparison, the first “Escape Room” opened to $18 million in January 2019 and grossed $155 million worldwide against a $9 million budget. The sequel has a reported budget of $15 million.

With two of the biggest films on the summer calendar now released, the second half of July will likely see more modest numbers in the No. 1 slot but an uptick in holdover grosses. None of the remaining films on this month’s slate, which includes Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” and Paramount’s “Snake Eyes,” are currently projected to open to over $40 million. But more consistent releases should raise the floor for weekend grosses as theaters wait for the next big release, Warner Bros.’ “The Suicide Squad,” to arrive in early August.

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” sees LeBron James team up with the Looney Tunes in a basketball battle against a devious computer program (Don Cheadle) that holds James’ son hostage. Malcolm D. Lee directed the film, which has a 35% Rotten Tomatoes score.

“Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” sees the survivors of the previous film (Taylor Russell and Logan Miller) attempt to expose an evil corporation that puts people in deadly escape rooms for the entertainment of the rich, only to be trapped in a new series of rooms with other survivors. Adam Robitel returns as director of the film, which has a 50% RT score.