Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” has turned box office predictions on their head, blowing past both tracker projections and “Black Widow” to easily take the No. 1 spot at the box office with $13 million grossed from 3,965 screens on Friday and an estimated $32 million opening weekend.
Entering the weekend, “Space Jam 2” had been expected to open to $20 million, both behind “Black Widow” on the charts and behind the $27.5 million that the original “Space Jam” earned in 1996. But millennials nostalgic for “Space Jam” had something to say about that. While families played a key role with 32% of the audience in CinemaScore polls being under the age of 18, 40% were in the 18-35 demographic.
As expected, the film did better with audiences than critics, with Rotten Tomatoes scores showing 31% critics and 83% audience while CinemaScore audience polls yielded an A-.
With “Space Jam 2” peeling off millennials, “Black Widow” took a 69% drop from its $80 million launch last weekend, earning $8 million on its second Friday. That’s an 80% drop from the film’s $39.5 million opening Friday total, steeper than the 72% Friday-to-Friday drop taken by “F9” earlier this month.
Despite this, the Marvel Studios film passed “F9” as the fastest to gross $100 million domestically, doing so in less than a week while current estimates project a 10-day total of $130 million after an estimated $24 million second weekend.
In third is the Sony horror film “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions,” which earned $3.8 million on Friday from 2,815 locations and is expected to meet studio projections with an estimated $8.6 million opening. Reception for the film is a 42% critics/79% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes to go with a B on CinemaScore.
Universal holdovers “F9” and “The Boss Baby: Family Business” complete the top 5 with “F9” taking an estimated $6.7 million in its fourth weekend and “Boss Baby” taking an estimated $4.4 million in its third weekend. “F9” has now joined “A Quiet Place — Part II” as the second post-pandemic release to gross $150 million in North America.