‘Snake Eyes’ and ‘Old’ Will Duel ‘Space Jam 2’ at the Box Office This Weekend

But don’t expect big numbers as the “G.I. Joe” film and Shyamalan’s latest aren’t projected to top $20 million

Snake Eyes 2021

Here’s something that the box office hasn’t seen in a while: a head-to-head battle between two new films for the No. 1 spot. What’s more, Paramount’s “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins” and Universal’s “Old” will both be released only in theaters, coming off a weekend where theater owners struck back at Disney’s hybrid release of “Black Widow.”

But don’t expect either film to give a boost to overall numbers. Paramount is projecting an opening for “Snake Eyes” of $14-16 million, while “Old” is projected by Universal for a $12-15 million opening. Meanwhile, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and “Black Widow” are expected to earn holdover totals in that same mid-teens range.

That could make it difficult to determine who tops the charts but will likely mean that overall totals will take another drop from last weekend’s $91.9 million. How much of a drop will likely be determined by whether the surging COVID-19 infection rates fueled by the Delta variant will make moviegoers more reluctant to head out to theaters.

“Snake Eyes” is the third “G.I. Joe” film released by Paramount and the first since “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” in 2013. That film, which starred Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum, opened on Easter weekend to a 4-day, $51 million opening and grossed $375 million against a $130 million budget, despite poor reviews.

While “G.I. Joe” has a cult fanbase, the film isn’t expected to come close to that film’s mark not only because of the current nature of the theatrical market but also because of the lack of star power, as “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding is the only major name attached to draw in casual audiences. The good news is that the film only has a reported $88 million budget, compared to the $175 million for “Retaliation.”

“Old,” meanwhile, is the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan, who found surprise critical and box office success with “Split” in 2017. That film grossed $278.4 million worldwide against a $9 million budget while its 2019 sequel, “Glass” grossed $247 million against a $20 million budget.

Again, “Old” holds less star power than its predecessors in Shyamalan’s filmography. “Glass” starred James McAvoy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, while “Old” stars Gael Garcia Bernal and “Phantom Thread” star Vicky Krieps. Horror films like “A Quiet Place — Part II” and “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” have found success at this summer’s box office, but it’s less certain whether the sort of mainstream moviegoers that elevated the box office success of those films will turn out for this body horror tale about accelerated aging.

If “Old” opens at projected levels, it will be the lowest opening weekend in Shyamalan’s career. But even if that’s the case, the film, like almost all in the director’s career, has a very low budget at just $18 million.

“Snake Eyes” tells the origin story of the titular hero, a lone warrior with a mysterious past that is brought to light when he is welcomed into an ancient ninja clan. Robert Schwentke directed the film from a screenplay by Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse.

“Old” is based on the 2011 graphic novel “Sandcastle” and follows a group of people on vacation who discover that the beach they are trapped on is causing them to rapidly age. Bernal and Krieps star alongside a cast that includes Eliza Scanlen and Thomasin McKenzie.


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