Marvel's "Black Widow" may have avenged the box office last week, but the superhero stand-alone was overpowered this week by LeBron James and "Space Jam: A New Legacy." In spite of less than stellar reviews, the belated b-ball sequel landed $31.6M, a pandemic-era best for a family film.
It was time to "Slam" for families, who turned out the strongest for Warner Bros.' "Space Jam: A New Legacy." The animated sequel, which debuted the same weekend on HBO Max, not only topped the previous family film record holder, WB's own "Tom & Jerry," but it also just barely bested the opening performance of "Godzilla vs. Kong." That's "$31.65M for "Space Jam 2" vs. $31.63M for "Godzilla vs. Kong." This was also the strongest opening for director Malcolm D. Lee. His previous box office best was 2017's "Girls Trip," which opened to $31.2M.
Marvel's "Black Widow," which crossed the $100M mark earlier in the week, saw the steepest second-week drop out of any title in the MCU. The Scarlett Johansson-led adventure spun only $26.25M. Disney did not disclose any second-week PVOD numbers, but there's little doubt that its at-home availability is cutting into its box office legs.
The only other major release this weekend was Sony's "Escape Room: Tournament of Champions." The horror sequel scared up $8.8M, enough to place it in the No. 3 slot, though this was down from the original's January 2019 opening of $18.2M.
Two specialty releases also broke through the box office Top Ten. Focus Features' doc "Roadrunner," about the life of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, claimed the No. 8 spot with $1.9M. This was the best opening for an indie film since the start of the pandemic. The doc found some pre-release controversy for its use of A.I. to reconstruct Bourdain's voice for three lines in the film. Its strong box office performance, however, shows that there's growing consumer confidence among older demos, while the film itself was able to attract a younger-than-usual audience of 25-44-year-olds.
Neon's drama "Pig" also opened strong. Starring Nicolas Cage in a critically acclaimed and very subdued performance, "Pig" took in $945K, enough to place it at No. 10. This was a particularly good weekend for Neon, as their Cannes entry "Titane" nabbed the festival's top prize, the Palm d'Or on Saturday.
Box Office Top Ten: July 16-18
- "Space Jam: A New Legacy" (WB) - $31,650,000 [NEW]
- "Black Widow" (Disney) - $26,251,000 / Overall: $132,012,671
- "Escape Room: Tournament of Champions" (Sony) - $8,800,000 [NEW]
- "F9" (Universal) - $7,620,000 / Overall: $154,838,955
- "The Boss Baby: Family Business" (Universal) - $4,720,000 / Overall: $44,641,675
- "The Forever Purge" (Universal) - $4,160,000 / Overall: $35,910,710
- "A Quiet Place: Part II" (Paramount) - $2,300,000 / Overall: $155,027,870
- "Roadrunner" (Focus Features) $1,900,000 [NEW]
- "Cruella" (Disney) - $1,112,000 / Overall: $83,429,517
- "Pig" (Neon) - $945,000 [NEW]
Box office data comes to us from Box Office Mojo.
Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.