Weekend Box Office Forecast: Can Black Widow Defend Its Crown Against Space Jam: A New Legacy and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions? - Boxoffice


Boxoffice Pro 15 July, 2021 - 04:25pm 41 views

When is Space Jam 2 coming out on HBO Max?

“Space Jam: A New Legacy″ will premiere on HBO Max on Friday, July 16. nj.com‘Space Jam 2’ on HBO Max: How to watch, release time, price, cast, trailer

Is Space Jam 2 on HBO Max?

You'll need to sign up for an HBO Max subscription. HBO Max is the only place to watch Space Jam 2 online for the time being — you won't be able to find it on iTunes, Amazon or any of the other usual video-on-demand sites. ... You can also watch the 2021 Space Jam on-demand as many times as you want for free. Rolling StoneHow to Watch ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Online: Stream the Sequel Free on HBO Max

Following another pandemic-best debut from Black Widow last week, the midsummer release slate continues to pick up steam as theatrical recovery builds momentum in North America.

Exhibitors are hopeful that the counter-programming duo of Space Jam: A New Legacy and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions will do just that, but only the former has a clear shot to rival the Marvel film’s sophomore frame — and it could be a close battle. The reopening of theaters in Ontario, even with seating capacities in place, could be mildly significant for openers and holdovers alike as the Canadian province typically represents between a 3 and 5 share of North American box office.

Although Widow experienced a sharp Saturday drop last weekend, Marvel films typically show some stabilization by the second weekend. The impact of the film’s availability on Disney+ for an additional charge is an ongoing factor in this new box office climate, but Widow will at least have the benefit of retaining a large share of premium screens in theaters for at least one more week.

After just five days in domestic release, Widow crossed $100 million on Wednesday and did so in pandemic record time (speeding past F9‘s pace by three days).

Intriguingly, only two of the five previous July MCU releases have held onto first place in their second weekend — those being 2019’s Spider-Man: Far from Home and 2015’s Ant-Man. The latter was a squeaker as the Paul Rudd-led Scott Lang origin story won its sophomore frame with $24.9 million versus the debut of Adam Sandler’s Pixels ($24.0 million). That could be a relevant comparison this weekend given the similar Pixels audience being targeted by the Space Jam revival.

The latest Warner Bros. hybrid release has been trending very well in pre-sales windows while also getting boosts from a strong social media presence thanks to the influencing power of LeBron James and the broader NBA sphere. James alone has more than 141 million combined followers on Instagram and Twitter. In pre-social media days, the 1995 film leveraged the iconic popularity of Michael Jordan in tandem with the generational appeal of Looney Tunes in order to generate what became a cult-classic family film.

Space Jam opened to $27.5 million back in November 1996 before capping off at $90.4 million domestically and $230.4 million globally, figures that A New Legacy could realistically hit on the domestic side. The nostalgia play among adults (now parents) fond of the original movie will need to be met by healthy walk-up business and interest from today’s kids over the weekend.

It’s those latter elements which present more wild cards, especially given the film’s availability for free at home to subscribers of HBO Max. Warner Bros. played a large role in the early recovery efforts of movie theaters during the first half of 2021, but a recent stumble by In the Heights raises the question of whether or not the Space Jam sequel could similarly be prone to inflated pre-sales from fans without significant expansion. The kiddie appeal outside metro and urban areas should prevent any kind of misfire as large as Heights‘, though.

A combined 33 million trailer views from studio YouTube pages suggest outreach to the youth may be notable this weekend. However, some parents remain cautious in their return to theaters since vaccines aren’t yet available for those aged 12 and under, while the Delta variant of COVID-19 remains a concern for the unvaccinated. As such, expectations for Jam this weekend are all over the board. Warner Bros. has not provided official studio expectations.

Meanwhile, Sony goes exclusively into theaters again with Escape Room: Tournament of Champions. The original film was a sleeper hit back in January 2019 as it bowed to $18.2 million onward to a $57 million domestic / $155.7 million global finish — all on just $9 million in production costs.

We expect the horror sequel to succumb to some diminished returns, namely due to the glut of horror films released in a short period this summer and somewhat cooler social media metrics. However, it’s still in a financially low-risk position with just a $15 million budget behind it. Sony expects between $7 million and $8 million this weekend. The PG-13 rating will be friendly to teens and young adults, but it won’t boast much of a premium screen footprint due to larger films in the market.

On Showtimes Dashboard, Black Widow unsurprisingly leads the sampled share of weekend domestic shows with 27 percent, followed by 18 percent for Space Jam: A New Legacy and 11 percent for the Escape Room sequel.

Warner Bros. has not provided any official pre-weekend location counts or premium screen details on Jam, but it will not be holding Thursday previews. The Escape sequel will, beginning at 3pm.

Not to be overlooked this weekend will also be releases from Focus Features and Neon. The former will distribute Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain at 926 locations and has been generating encouraging pre-sales for the genre. A finish among the top ten looks possible based on those trends. Meanwhile, Neon’s Pig will release in approximately 600 theaters (based on Dashboard projections).

Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will decrease between 26 and 35 percent from last weekend’s pandemic era record $117.5 million top ten aggregate.

Theater counts are updated as confirmed by studios.

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Space Jam: A New Legacy Is a Huge Airball

Gizmodo 15 July, 2021 - 07:54pm

Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man, Girls Trip) from a script credited to six writers, A New Legacy is the long-awaited sequel to 1996 hit Space Jam, which starred Michael Jordan (as himself) as he was forced to play a basketball game against a bunch of aliens in order to free his friends. In A New Legacy, James similarly has to play a basketball game to free his tech-savvy son, Dom (Cedric Joe), who has been sucked into a place called the Warner Bros. Serververse.

As someone who grew up with Space Jam, I wanted nothing more than to like A New Legacy. I distinctly recall “I Believe I Can Fly” and Air Jordans, and I love watching basketball and sci-fi movies, so on paper, the film is right up my alley. The problem is, the new film is so dense and manic, with a hugely uneven tone, that the end product feels like white noise. A bunch of nothing buzzing across the screen for damn near two hours. How could a movie about basketball and cartoons be dense? Well, partially because the plot is extremely complicated. In the story, Warner Bros.—the company behind this movie in real life—has created an algorithm that creates its own content. That algorithm is personified by Don Cheadle who calls himself Al G. Rhythm (get it?) and his aim is to get James to appear in all sorts of algorithm-created WB content. But when James turns him down, Al kidnaps Dom and forces James to play him in basketball to free him. It seems like a good plan because Dom creates his own video games and understands technology and his father is a no-nonsense, by-the-rules parent, but that’s just the beginning.

All of this occurs in the film’s second act, which feels like a disjointed Warner Bros. highlight reel. Bugs and James go from franchise to franchise picking up one or two characters with all the excitement of a grocery list. Characters are just put into whatever movie or show they most tangentially fit into, we see them do their signature schtick, and then it’s onto the next one. The extended sequence is repetitive, unfunny, and feels completely separate from the rest of the film’s story. Adding insult to injury, James is animated the whole time. Make no mistake, James isn’t very good in the film, but having a human face alongside the animated characters would be interesting—animated LeBron James and the Looney Tunes feels more like it was made for TV than a big-screen sequel.

Some of this might have been OK if the key friendship in the film between Bugs and James had some heart. It doesn’t. On one hand, you have James, who is trying to put together a team to help free his son, and on the other, you have Bugs, who just wants to get his friends back together. The film makes it pretty clear Bugs is using James—who continues to call this out—but Bugs just keeps going. The dynamic is probably supposed to be funny, but it only creates an unsettling, unspoken disconnect between the leads, making the chances of them having any kind of real, formidable bond impossible.

The driving force throughout the movie is supposed to be the tension in LeBron and Dom’s relationship. Dom, the kid who would rather play games than basketball, and LeBron, the adult who worked so hard to get where he is that he never had a real childhood. It’s a generational gap we assume is meant to be relatable and poignant, but it all feels very surface. The film is so preoccupied to get to the next cameo or joke, the father/son relationship never gets explored in a meaningful way. We know James is good at basketball and the film shows us that Dom is good at designing video games, but the film never lets those passions come through organically. Plus, the rest of the family (lead by Star Trek: Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green) do little more than stand on the sidelines and scream. It’s all tell and no show, which means even the core of the film doesn’t quite work.

Of course, it’s always important to step back and look at the larger context. I’m a 41-year-old white man; yes, I grew up with and loved the original film, I follow the NBA and love sci-fi movies. All of the elements in Space Jam: A New Legacy should, potentially, work for me. Even so, this movie was not made for me. It was made for 12-year-olds who might not get a joke referencing Training Day, but will enjoy a young character who has his own Twitch stream. That person might like this hyper-kinetic, totally nonsensical movie a lot. For me though? It just wasn’t my jam.

Space Jam: A New Legacy opens Friday, July 16 in theaters and HBO Max.

The reviews are in for LeBron James' 'Space Jam: A New Legacy,' and they're ... not great

Yahoo Sports 15 July, 2021 - 11:00am

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

The sequel to the 1996 nostalgia powerhouse that is Michael Jordan's "Space Jam," the new Warner Bros. film comes with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James at the helm, the Looney Tunes at his flank and the entire Warner Bros. movie vault around him.

Like in all aspects of James' career, comparisons to the Jordan original are inescapable, but when the movie also has seen two different directors, six different screenwriters, five other NBA and WNBA All-Stars, two years of production and a $150 million budget, the bigger question around the movie may simply be "Is it good?"

Answers to that question started landing this week ahead of the movie's release. Here's what the reviews had to say.

"Space Jam: A New Legacy" currently holds a 37 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes through 70 reviews and a 40 on Metacritic through 26 reviews. The critics consensus from RT:

Despite LeBron James' best efforts to make a winning team out of the Tune Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy trades the zany, meta humor of its predecessor for a shameless, tired exercise in IP-driven branding.

Obviously, James and Warner Bros. would have been hoping for numbers higher than James' 2021 field goal percentage (51.3 percent). As the consensus shows, the majority of critics loathed the endless train of Warner Bros. cameos and references (such as this clip with the Looney Tunes' Granny appearing in The Matrix universe),

From Entertainment Weekly:

Here's the thing about basketball: It is extremely watchable. Here's the thing about Space Jam: A New Legacy: It's not. You will be amazed by how little the basketball game resembles an actual sport, and how hard it is to sit through.

From the AV Club:

Space Jam: A New Legacy takes almost nothing but wrong turns, all leading to a glittering CGI trash heap of cameos, pat life lessons, and stale internet catchphrases.

From Polygon:

Space Jam: A New Legacy is only really satisfying to people who care about marketing and company profits, people who approach it as a product that’s successfully been sold. It’s like a basketball game your favorite team is winning — except the team isn’t one playing on screen. It’s the company that sold you the ticket.

Even some of the more positive reviews are more damning with faint praise than raves, such as this one from the Washington Post which was considered "fresh" by RT:

There’s no real reason for this sequel/tribute to the original 1996 film to exist, but now that it does, there’s no reason to wish that it didn’t. While “You could do worse” probably wouldn’t pass muster with the movie’s marketing people as a tagline, it’s probably the most accurate assessment of the film.

Though there were some who legitimately enjoyed the film, or at least believed the film's target audience would enjoy it, like Den of Geek:

The reason Space Jam: A New Legacy doesn’t fall off of the wheels is because the film has a clear message for kids, a satisfying character arc for James, and an emotional climax that is acted well enough by the four-time MVP. That’s more than His Airness’ version gave us. At the end of the day, this is a movie for kids, and they’ll likely be pulled into its world like the characters themselves.

Among the things that were actually praised are the performances of James and Don Cheadle, who plays the villain, and the high-budget digital effects. Basically, it seems that most will enjoy this movie if they really like LeBron James and if they really like Warner Bros. as a studio.

Maintaining perspective is important here. First of all, recall that we are talking about a movie that is ostensibly meant for kids, as the first one was. Yes, some kids movies review well (e.g. everything Pixar), but adults probably shouldn't go in expecting a movie to cater to their tastes.

Second, it may be worth pointing that the original "Space Jam" wasn't a critical darling either, holding a 44 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Nostalgia is a powerful drug and overcoming it may simply be an impossible task when it controls a generation of basketball fans, though James should have known that when he signed on the dotted line.

Ot course, the bright side for James and Warner Bros. is that while the reviews for "Space Jam" might have been lukewarm, interest in them was not. Rotten Tomatoes' site was down for much of Wednesday as the first big wave of reviews hit, and it's hard to believe that heavy traffic from fans interested in the movie didn't play a role in the outage.

If that translates into big box office and streaming numbers, the critics can say whatever they want.

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Escape Room: Tournament of Champions Space Jam: A New Legacy space jam a new legacy

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