LeBron James sends message to 'haters' as 'Space Jam' takes over box office

Entertainment

New York Post 18 July, 2021 - 09:47am 15 views

Is Lebron James family in Space Jam?

Is LeBron James' real family in 'Space Jam'? Jordan's family and real kids were not in the original, however their names (Jeffrey, Marcus, and Jasmine) were used. "New Legacy" features actors portraying James' family, with different names to highlight the fictional storyline. USA TODAY'Space Jam: A New Legacy' burning questions: Is that LeBron James' mansion? And his real family?

How much did Space Jam 2 make?

Box Office: 'Space Jam 2' Dunks On 'Black Widow' With $13.1 Million Friday. I cover the film industry. By normal standards, a $150 million sci-fi kid-friendly sequel like Malcom D. Lee's Space Jam: A New Legacy opening with “just” $13.1 million yesterday would be a slight underperformance. ForbesBox Office: ‘Space Jam 2’ Dunks On ‘Black Widow’ With $13.1 Million Friday

Can you watch Space Jam 2 at home?

Space Jam: A New Legacy debuted on HBO Max on Friday July 16, the same day as its U.S. theatrical release. You'll be able to stream Space Jam 2 for free on HBO Max for 31 days, just like the other blockbuster premieres. Space Jam: A New Legacy leaves HBO Max on August 16. Rolling StoneHow to Watch ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Online: Stream the Sequel Free on HBO Max

How much is Space Jam 2 on HBO Max?

Watch Now: Space Jam 2 Online for free! An HBO Max subscription costs just $14.99 a month right now, which is cheaper than a theater ticket, and about the same price as Netflix. ipsnews.netSpace Jam 2: free stream and where to watch on streaming in the United States & Canada – Business

LeBron's Space Jam: A New Legacy reboot slammed as an 'apocalyptic horror' in reviews

Daily Mail 18 July, 2021 - 11:00am

By Emily Crane For Dailymail.com

The initial reviews for LeBron James' Space Jam reboot are now in - but they are not the slam dunk he and Warner Bros would have been hoping for. 

'Space Jam: A New Legacy', which debuts in theaters and on HBO Max Friday, has been slammed by critics as an 'abomination' and an 'apocalyptic horror'. 

Early reviews have also criticized the film studio for 'vomiting up all their intellectual property' by injecting almost every other Warner Bros character into the movie as well as the Looney Tune figures from the original.

Essentially, the film - directed by Malcolm D. Lee - centers on NBA legend LeBron James and his efforts to form a basketball team with several animated Looney Tunes characters to save his son, played by Cedric Joe, from a malevolent computer algorithm.

The villain in this film is the algorithm called Al G. Rhythm, who is played by Don Cheadle. 

LeBron James' 'Space Jam: A New Legacy', which debuts in theaters and on HBO Max Friday, has been slammed by critics as an 'abomination' and an 'apocalyptic horror'

Vox's Alissa Wilkinson described the film as an 'apocalyptic horror'

The film, which had a reported budget of about $150 million and serves as a sequel to the original 1996 movie starring Michael Jordan, also features a series of other characters including King Kong, Willy Wonka, Austin Powers, and the Mask.  

The Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck said the introduction of so many characters was only meant to appeal to Warner Bros' marketing department.

'It all feels like Warner Bros. ingested an emetic and vomited up all their intellectual property,' he wrote in his review.

'Arriving a belated 25 years after the original, which was no great shakes to begin with, Space Jam: A New Legacy doesn't live up to its grandiose, overly optimistic title.'

THR's review also took aim at LeBron, saying: 'Another problem is that James lacks the charismatic appeal of Jordan, who, although no actor, anchored the previous film with his sheer likability.' 

LeBron actually addresses his lack of acting in the film while he is in a meeting with studio executives. It is also the scene where his son gets kidnapped by Al G. Rhythm.  

'I'm a ballplayer. And athletes acting - it never goes well,' LeBron says. 

The New York Post 's Johnny Oleksinski called the film an 'abomination' and said it was up there 'in the pantheon of misguided sequels and reboots'

The New York Post's Johnny Oleksinski said: 'That's especially true of cardboard James.'

Oleksinski called the film an 'abomination' and said it was up there 'in the pantheon of misguided sequels and reboots'.  

'The original 1996 'Space Jam' wasn't top-drawer either, but it made a buck at the box office. So, money-grubbing Warner Bros took 25 years to crank out a follow-up that's far, far worse. And they know it,' he wrote, adding it was 'nothing more than forgettable nostalgia bait'. 

The Daily Beast's Kevin Fallon said the sequel ruined his childhood memories of the first film.  

'After 25 years of looking forward to the Space Jam sequel, we instead got ugly effects, crass corporate synergy, and two hours of LeBron James learning what an algorithm is,' he wrote. 

'I pride myself on grading these kinds of things on a curve. It's a big-swing blockbuster. It's meant to appeal to kids. The corporate opportunism is going to be glaring. But you can still do that with a sense of fun and style. Even just recently, Cruella did just that. 

'I was shocked by how cynical the whole thing was. The animation and the effects were confusingly ugly.

'The whole thing, and I can't believe my career has come to the point where I am about to type these words, misses everything that was magical about the spirit of Space Jam.' 

The Daily Beast 's Kevin Fallon said the sequel ruined his childhood memories of the first film

Vulture's Bilge Ebiri said: 'It fills a two-hour hole in the schedule, which will keep parents happy, and it brandishes the brand, which will keep shareholders happy.

'Whether it could have also been a good movie might not have crossed anyone's mind.' 

Vox's Alissa Wilkinson described the film as an 'apocalyptic horror', while NPR's Aisha Harris called the film 'the ultimate vanity project'.

And Entertainment Weekly's Mary Sollosi said: 'Here's the thing about basketball: It is extremely watchable. Here's the thing about Space Jam: A New Legacy: It's not.'

The Chicago Sun-Times review, written by Richard Roeper, said the film couldn't be unseen. 

'I've never seen anything like it,' Roeper said. 'I also hope to never see anything like it again, and I wish I could unsee what I have seen.

'LeBron says it's an awful idea, one of the worst ideas he's ever heard, and he rejects the pitch — and then the movie pursues the exact same path after acknowledging it's a terrible concept.

'With the exception of a few clever one-liners and visual gags, it's more exhausting than amusing.' 

The reboot currently holds a 37 percent 'Rotten' score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

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Space Jam: A New Legacy Review - A Buncha Looney Tics

Superherohype.com 18 July, 2021 - 11:00am

Space Jam: A New Legacy is exactly what it looks like. Nobody thought it looked like a well-written movie, or anything more than an expensive, gaudy distraction to keep the kids’ attention for two hours, right? But it’s hard, and futile, to get angry at a movie for being the thing it proclaims. The entire message of the movie — the same message as every lazily written kids movie — is “be yourself.” At that, the film succeeds. At least it doesn’t resort to gross-out or bathroom humor in its bag of pandering tricks. Unless bad cartoon teeth count as a gross-out.

Ironically, or so one might think, the film’s villain is a self-aware algorithm that wants to maximize Warner Bros’ media footprint by digitally inserting LeBron James into all of the company’s IP. The movie, in effect, is that, but unlike the master control program played by Don Cheadle, never even becomes self-aware enough to make that a key joke. And unlike in the movie, LeBron James clearly didn’t reject it as a bad idea.

All of which is a set-up to zap James, Tron-style, inside the Warner Bros. servers, in which a universe that looks exactly like the Oasis from Ready Player One exists. And naturally, he will have to play basketball with the Looney Tunes characters to save the day. The title “Cyberspace Jam” was right there, but the movie’s not even witty enough for that.

It takes altogether too long to get James into the computer universe, but like the first Space Jam, the sequel feels the need for a pointless flashback and a career montage, presumably for the benefit of overseas audiences unfamiliar with LeBron James or basketball. Then the relationship between LeBron and his fictional youngest son Dom (Cedric Joe) takes time to set up. All of which could have been handled in quick flashback or throwaway lines later. But an algorithm probably wrote this movie too.

On the plus side, this spiritual, indirect sequel to Space Jam comes across less annoying than its predecessor. That one, lest we forget, was explicitly based on Nike commercials. Maybe it’s because James offers a more modest, self-deprecating performance than Michael Jordan. Or maybe it’s that expensive feature film animation looks much better in 2021 than 1996. In any case, the animators are this film’s real heroes. The story may falter, but fun things to look at abound, and rebound. A montage of Looney Tunes characters in other movies is a standout sequence, particularly in one comic book movie that looks like a literal comic book.

Interspersed between expensive, CG recreations of Hanna Barbera characters and the like, we also see crowds of extras essentially clad in Spirit Halloween costumes of other famous characters. It’s one thing to blink and miss a cheap White Walker mask, but quite another to give camera time to a Batman and Robin Mr. Freeze mugging like Arnold Schwarzenegger while very clearly not being him.

In both Ready Player One and The LEGO Movie, Warner Bros. won acclaim from fans and critics alike for the clever way the stories integrate characters and iconography from other properties. However, Space Jam: A New Legacy proves that the third time isn’t always the charm. What audiences actually liked about those movies and mash-ups was the storytelling. It’s not enough to just say, “Look at that thing you know!” And in a movie that’s strictly likely to appeal to kids, who exactly is a Training Day joke for?

Don Cheadle makes the most of his moments. The veteran actor adds layers to, and implies backstory for a villain who doesn’t seem written to have either. As for the other name actors and athletes who make cameos, we can only hope they got well-paid. Lola Bunny takes center stage among the Tunes, either because of her partly creepy cult fanbase, or the fact that she’s voiced here by Zendaya. It’s a nice touch and a fun reversal that she and Granny, as the only women on their team, are also depicted as the only legitimate cartoon athletes. If they wind up inspiring a new generation of girls to get good at sports, Space Jam: A New Legacy may have a real-life happy ending after all.

For everyone else, consider Teen Titans Go! To the Movies instead. It has the same kind of IP-hopping by pop culture icons, only it’s witty and fun as well.

Grade: 2.5/5

Space Jam: A New Legacy premieres in theaters and on HBO Max July 16th.

‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Steals Ball Away From ‘Black Widow’ With $31M+ Opening, Best For Family Pic & WB During Pandemic

Deadline 18 July, 2021 - 09:54am

Sunday AM Update: Refresh for more analysis and chart Even with Space Jam: A New Legacy in homes on HBO Max, Warner Bros. proves again that when they shell out on TV spots, they can open the film in movie theaters to a solid number, and in this case it was the best 3-day we’ve seen for a family film during the pandemic with $31.65M. That’s also the best for Warner Bros. beating Godzilla vs. Kong‘s big Easter opening of $31.625M by a smidge and also the best opening for director Malcolm D. Lee, beating the opening weekend of Girls Trip by $31.2M.

“It’s the family movie of the summer and it’s exciting to see audiences come back in big numbers,” said Warner Bros. domestic theatrical distribution chief Jeff Goldstein who praised the big marketing push by the studio for the Looney Tunes NBA sequel which includes bus wraps to the pic’s mobile game Looney Tunes World of Mayhem. 

iSpot shows that Warner Bros spent $15.2M in TV spots on the Looney Tunes live-action animation hybrid movie (since April 3, yielding 993.6M impressions), which is more than other studios spend on their family pics, i.e. Sony with Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway ($8.7M), and Universal with The Boss Baby: Family Business ($13.4M); yet less than the $22.5M they spent on In the Heights. The question is whether and when Warner Bros. can get this movie to cross $100M given the whole HBO Max factor (the movie plays free to subscribers during its first 28 days). In a regular pre-pandemic marketplace without any dynamic windowing strategies, this wouldn’t be a question, but it took the studio 12 weekends to get their big pandemic Easter opener Godzilla vs. Kong ($31.625M 3-day) past the century mark stateside.

Yes, yes, similar to Black Widow, even with this result for Space Jam 2, money was left on the table box office-wise.  This weekend the Scarlett Johansson standalone MCU origin title is estimated to have dropped -67% with $26.25M which reps the steepest second weekend drop for a Disney MCU movie after Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s -62%. So if you’re wondering how Disney+ Premier impacts a Marvel title’s box office, there’s further poof. Note among all Marvel movies, 2003’s The Hulk, which Kevin Feige executive produced for Universal, reps the steepest second weekend domestic drop at -70% for the comic book label’s movies. The 10-day box office for Black Widow stands at $132M.

Note, you cannot comp Black Widow’s second weekend drop here to F9‘s -67% because the latter’s second Sunday fell on July 4th which is always a down day for moviegoing. Monday July 5th for F9, which was also a recognized holiday stateside, saw that pic’s business pop +15% over Sunday. F9 was released with a theatrical window.

Disney did not report any second weekend updates about Black Widow‘s results on Disney+ Premier. How’s that for transparency?

Warner Bros. has eased the town and exhibition’s fears that they’re only practicing this theatrical-HBO Max-day and date strategy for this year due to the pandemic; that their 2022 and beyond slate will be purely theatrical next year. And at the end of the day, it’s this pandemic (and the continued news of delta variants and re-masking of L.A. doesn’t help) which continues to give studios, like Disney, the license to burn down the film distribution model to keep warm. They can trumpet how they made money between a pic’s opening weekend box office and the Disney+ premier PVOD cash, but in addition to shrinking the pie, I hope that Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Chairman Kareem Daniel also realize that they’re losing more than just long-term box office dollars and solid ancillary windows on these-day-and-date releases: Piracy is stealing more money from them faster than they realize many sources in the know tell me. And that kind of diminishing of dollars at the box office and windows will hit every downstream business units at Disney quite hard.  Wall Street needs to stop sniffing the streaming glue, wake up and realize this recipe for financial disaster.

Fact: Black Widow was the most-pirated movie last week on Torrent Freak, ahead of The Tomorrow War in the No. 2 spot.  Many of these piracy sites dress themselves up with images from the film to make it look like they’re legit. The studios go to great lengths while editing their films to encrypt movies and watermark them so they can trace where a pirated copy comes from (whether or not it leaks from inside the studio). All of those safeguards are blown away in this day-and-date theatrical-streaming era. One industry analytics source informed me that in one study they did for a studio, it showed that these piracy sites were the No. 1 way for those at home to watch movies, not Disney+ or any other streamer. By Disney executing this Disney+ Premier strategy from day one (and Warner’s with their 2021 slate), they’re essentially making pristine free copies available.

By the way, I need to correct myself: Disney doesn’t get 100% of their Disney+ Premier revenue many sources have told me. On a PVOD release, they have to share ~15% of the revenues with platform providers such as Amazon Firestick, AppleTV+, etc. So that $60M global PVOD huzzah last weekend is really around an estimated net $51M back to Disney. While it’s not as steep as a 60/40 percent split with exhibition, once again, Disney is burning through an ancillary window faster and bound to walk away with less money in the end than they typically would on a regular theatrical release.

The Napster millennials have grown up, Disney, and they’re familiar with getting their goods for free. Is this really a road you want to continue on with future theatrical films? Less box office glow and more piracy results in eroding your brands in the future. Giving into to consumers’ flexible-viewing habits is truly financial foolishness.

Sony is reporting $8.8M for their PG-13 horror sequel Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, which is a pure theatrical release at 2,815 theaters. We’re still waiting on Sony to truly spend on marketing to open their movies, this one iSpot sees a $4.5M TV spend which produced 415.5M impression. The first Escape Room opened to $18.2M. Let’s hope we see big results from the Culver City studio opens Venom: Let There Be Carnage on Sept. 24 and MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home on Dec. 17 which rumor has it that Disney+’s Wandavision and possibly Loki tie into.

Focus Features’ Morgan Neville’s documentary Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain rang up $1.9M in 8th place at 925 theaters from 189 DMAs, reping the top opening for a specialty movie and top opening for a docu this year. The pic here out-grossed Roadside Attractions’ The Courier (opened at $1.885M) and Zola (opened at $1.2mil) and grossing more than three times what Questlove’s Summer of Soul grossed in its opening weekend of $650k. Roadrunner is also the top opening of Oscar winner Neville’s career. 

NEON’s Nicolas Cage thriller Pig slotted 10th with $945K at 552 locations for a $1,7K theater average. The pic’s top ten theaters I’m told out of its top 20 came from arthouses, which is a promising sign that the sector is on the rebound after weathering the pandemic. Top cities were NY, LA, Chicago, San Francisco and Portland.

The weekend’s top 10 movies by studio-reported gross:

Saturday AM Update: Warner Bros.’ long awaited sequel to the 25-year old family classic Space Jam —Space Jam: A New Legacyhad a four point shot at the box office yesterday, with $13.1M at 3,965 theaters, for what will be a $32M opening weekend.

The results squash the second Friday and anticipated weekend of Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow, which did $8M yesterday, one of the worst Friday-to-Friday drops for a recent standalone origin MCU title at -80%, on its way to a $25.6M second weekend, a -68% drop, no thanks to the film’s availability in homes on Disney+ Premier for $29.99. If you think it’s unfair to comp Black Widow to pre-pandemic MCU origin films, well, then, know that her drop is even steeper than the second Fridays of F9 (-72%) and A Quiet Place Part II (-68%). By the end of the weekend, Black Widow will count $131.3M at the domestic B.O.

The total weekend B.O. looks to come in around $93M, off 22% from last weekend’s pandemic weekend high of $118.46M. While a notable take for the pandemic, we’re still behind 65% when compared to weekend 29 of 2019 (which overall grossed $263.8M; that’s when Disney reboot of The Lion King opened). With Canada’s Ontario reopening 70% of its theaters (with capacity restrictions) yesterday, the number of 5,88K domestic cinemas in operation currently resides at 83%.

Space Jam: A New Legacy‘s opening reps the biggest for Warner Bros. during the pandemic, besting Godzilla vs. Kong‘s 3-day of $28.2M and the best opening for a family movie. The pic is also available day-and-date in homes on HBO Max. It also reps the biggest opening for director Malcolm D. Lee outstripping the $31M debut of Girls Trip and also the filmmaker’s third film to open at No. 1. The sequel’s opening easily beats the $27.5M opening of Space Jam, not accounting for inflation, which ended its domestic run at $90.4M.

Space Jam: A New Legacy received an A- CinemaScore, the same grade as the first 1996 movie, and saw a bulk of walk-up business last night, especially from teens, indicative of moviegoing for the first Lego movie, which played beyond its family demo. Huge turnout by African Americans at 36%, Latino 23%, Caucasian 32%, and Asian/other 9% in Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak exits. Space Jam: A New Legacy overperformed in the East and South, but the West was the most dominant territory. Premium Large Format screens drove 4% of the business, I understand.

Space Jam: A New Legacy star and producer LeBron James tweeted out the news about the pic’s super weekend:

Hi Haters! 😁 https://t.co/ayPGnBZGQU

— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 17, 2021

On CinemaScore exits, those under 18 gave Space Jam: A New Legacy a solid A, while those under 35 gave it an A-, along with the under-25 demo. Males (53%) and females (47%) gave the Lee-directed sequel an A-. PostTrak exits were less brighter than CinemaScore, showing 78% in the top two boxes and 58% recommend, though kids under 12 gave it a 84% positive with a 70% recommend. PostTrak make-up showed 58% guys, 60% under 25 with 48% under 17. Critics aren’t so hot on Space Jam: A New Legacy at 31% Rotten, but that’s not impacting the box office.

Sony’s Escape Room: Tournament of Champions did $3.8M yesterday, including $1.2M Thursday previews, for a 3-day of $8.66M, which is what Sony was expecting on this $15M horror movie. Escape Room 2 received a B CinemaScore, just like its first installment. PostTrack audience exits were at a low 69% with a 44% recommend. The film had a similar diversity make-up as Space Jam 2, 29% African American, 27% Latino, 32% Caucasian, and 12% Asian/other.

Remember it’s a PG-13 film, and teens were also heading out to see Space Jam 2, which makes one wonder if this particular Sony sequel was losing business to the animated-live-action hybrid title. An even split between males and females, with 53% under 25, 62% between 18-34. Best business was on the coasts and in the south for this Adam Robitel-directed movie. Critics were so-so on the first movie back in 2019 at 51% Rotten, and their opinions in the horror pic haven’t improved at 42% Rotten.

In a sign that that the arthouse biz is coming back slowly: Focus Features’ documentary about Anthony Bourdain, Roadrunner from director Morgan Neville, did $760K yesterday (estimated $250K from Thursday previews) on its way to a $1.66M debut in 8th place at 927 theaters for a $1,791 per theater average in 189 markets.

Pic is 95% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 21-day window. Great PostTrak exits here at 94% positive and a 61% recommend. Pic played best on the coasts, with four of its top ten runs coming out of NYC. Females shows up at 52%, with 91% over 25 and 53% between 25-44. Diversity breakdown was 66% Caucasian, 19% Latino, 3% African American and 12% Asian/other.

NEON’s truffle hunter-bent-on-revenge feature Pig, starring Nicolas Cage and Alex Wolff, posted an estimated $372K yesterday, on its way to a $1M 3-day in the top 10 from 550 theaters for a $1,818 per theater average. Pic is on a traditional 42-day window, and I hear it posted good results in NY, LA, Chicago, San Francisco and Portland Oregon.

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Space Jam: A New Legacy review – humourless hoop dreams

The Guardian 18 July, 2021 - 06:30am

Al G’s masterplan is to digitally abduct LeBron James, of the Los Angeles Lakers (playing himself), turning the “family man, entrepreneur and social media star” into a Warner Brothers trademarked character who could be dropped into any of its existing franchises. In order to escape, James must reassemble the Tune Squad and win a ball game against his 12-year-old son, Dom (Cedric Joe), who has also been sucked into the serververse.

The original Space Jam was derived from Jordan’s TV adverts for Nike, and so there was a winking self-awareness baked into the film. The sequel, on the other hand, seems to earnestly revel in the recyclable potential of the WB archive. Its elastic, mile-a-minute animated sequences insert Lola Bunny (Zendaya; wasted) into the world of Wonder Woman and send Tweety and Granny into The Matrix. James’s natural charisma should allow the film to soar but he’s bogged down by an avalanche of distracting cameos, from Gremlins to Game of Thrones.

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