The Space Jam film that old heads were crying about was a slam dunk.
Even with the film premiering simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, Space Jam: A New Legacy performed well in theaters denying Black Widow another win at the box office bringing in $31.65M, making it the best 3-day opening for a family film during the still ongoing pandemic.
Space Jam: A New Legacy was also a win for Warner Bros. slightly topping Godzilla vs. Kong which brought in $31.625M. The film was also a milestone for director Malcolm D. Lee beating his previous record held by his film Girls Trip by $31.2M. The film’s star LeBron James took time to celebrate his film’s big weekend in a tweet sharing Deadline’s story with the caption, “Hi Haters.”
“It’s the family movie of the summer, and it’s exciting to see audiences come back in big numbers,” Warner Bros. domestic theatrical distribution chief Jeff Goldstein said speaking on the media blitz for the film that included tons of ads, on top of the plenty of promotion from James himself and plenty of merchandise including watches, exclusives Nike sneakers and apparel and a Space Jam video game as well as gaming accessories sold by Xbox.
The conversation around the film on social media also helped whether it be fans of the original film belly-aching about the James’ remix or those defending a movie clearly made for a new generation of children.
Social media was huge here for Space Jam 2, with RelishMix reporting that the sequel’s reach across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram was 601.2M, “well above the family animated norms,” thanks to the social power of James (166.2M) and Zendaya (138M) in the mix.
“The quadrangulation of Looney Tunes social network (19.1M) along with HBO Max (growing to 3.3M), Warner Bros. Pictures (56.7M) and the channels for the Space Jam movie (868K) are driving strong activity on international materials — dropping materials across WB YouTube channels to Italy, Spain and the Latin channels. Instagram is most notable at 38% in terms of social platform segment at 234.1M fans for the cast. Key soundtrack artists added to the SMU and activating with song posts, including John Legend (43.7M) on the red carpet at the premiere, plus The Jonas Brothers (25.5M) and Joyner Lucas (7.1M),” reports RelishMix.
James has been posting about the film heavily, and even Dwayne Johnson did so to his 58.8M Facebook fans about a song by his wife Lauren Hashian that’s in the film (James thanked him as well for the shoutout).
Whether Space Jam: A New Legacy can keep this same energy for another weekend is another story, but based on the history of other films that have been released simultaneously in theaters and on streaming services, we should expect a significant drop in theater attendance. Black Widow suffered a -67% drop, with $26.25M in its second week making it the steepest second-weekend drop for a Disney MCU movie after Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s -62%.
Still, LeBron James has a lot to be proud of with his film, so go ahead king and celebrate your win.
Photo: Warner Bros. / Space Jam: A New Legacy