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

Cast member Lebron James attends the premiere for the film 'Space Jam: A New Legacy'  in Los Angeles July 12, 2021. — Reuters pic
Cast member Lebron James attends the premiere for the film ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ in Los Angeles July 12, 2021. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, July 19 — 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 US$31.6 million (RM133 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. 

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 US$25.6 million in the Friday-through-Sunday period, down sharply from its US$80.4 million opening, according to industry watcher Exhibitor Relations.

In third place was Sony’s psychological thriller Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, at US$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 US$7.6 million, bringing the four-week domestic total of the Vin Diesel/John Cena action thriller to US$154 million.

And in fifth was Universal’s animated Boss Baby: Family Business, at US$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 US$1.9 million.

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Rounding out the top 10 were:

The Forever Purge (US$4.2 million)

A Quiet Place: Part II (US$2.3 million)

Roadrunner (US$1.9 million)

Cruella (US$1.1 million)

Pig (US$945,000) — AFP


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