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King LeBron reigns again as new ‘Space Jam’ tops North America box office

Published Jul 19, 2021 7:35 pm

New Warner Bros. release Space Jam: A New Legacy rocketed to the top of the North American box office over the weekend, taking in an estimated $31.6 million in the best showing of a family film since Covid first hammered the industry.

The live action/animated movie—a sequel nearly 25 years after the original Space Jam with Michael Jordan—has NBA superstar LeBron James teaming up with Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters in a high-stakes basketball game against a rogue artificial-intelligence entity threatening his son. 

MVPs: LeBron James and Bugs Bunny 

The film's surprise showing, despite middling-to-terrible reviews—the New York Post called it an “abomination”—propelled it past last weekend's leader, Disney superhero film Black Widow. 

That Marvel Studios production, starring Scarlett Johansson, took in $25.6 million in the Friday-through-Sunday period, down sharply from its $80.4 million opening, according to industry watcher Exhibitor Relations.

In third place was Sony's psychological thriller Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, at $8.8 million. Taylor Russell and Logan Miller, reprising their roles in 2019's Escape Room, face a series of deadly traps and puzzles set by the evil Minos.

Fourth place went to Universal's F9: The Fast Saga, at $7.6 million, bringing the four-week domestic total of the Vin Diesel/John Cena action thriller to $154 million.

And in fifth was Universal's animated Boss Baby: Family Business, at $4.7 million.Meantime, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain—the Focus Features/CNN Films movie about the world-traveling chef—had the best opening of a documentary this year, at $1.9 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were: The Forever Purge ($4.2 million); A Quiet Place: Part II ($2.3 million); Roadrunner ($1.9 million); Cruella ($1.1 million); Pig ($945,000).