‘Space Jam 2’ Slam Dunks ‘Black Widow’ in Weekend Box Office Upset

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Looney Tunes live-action/animation hybrid sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy, with LeBron James taking over Michael Jordan’s role in the 1996 original, is projected to dethrone Disney/Marvel Studios’ blockbuster Black Widow after just one stint atop the domestic weekend box office.

Industry estimates peg A New Legacy generating from $32 million to $35 million across almost 4,000 screens over the three-day weekend ending July 18. Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson in the title role, is projected to generate about $25 million across nearly 4,300 screens, bringing its total around $130 million.

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While the weekend box office won’t come near the $100 million threshold, Space Jam and Widow grosses are relatively strong considering the renewed government mask mandate in theaters in Los Angeles, and both titles being available to consumers in the home. A New Legacy is streaming for free for 31 days to subscribers on HBO Max, while Widow is available as a $29.99 add-on for Disney+ subscribers.

Among other releases, Sony Pictures’ freshman thriller Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is projected to generate more than $8 million, according to the studio. Universal Pictures/Focus Features’ Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is expected to top $1 million, while Neon’s Pig, featuring Nicolas Cage as a truffle farmer in search of his lost truffle-sniffing hog, could top $500,000.

Mainstay holdovers such as F9: The Fast Saga and The Boss Baby: Family Business are projected to sustain their theatrical momentum, with the former generating another $6.7 million in ticket sales, and the latter $4.4 million. F9 joins A Quiet Place Part II topping $150 million in domestic business.

‘Black Widow’ Bites Big as Marvel Cinematic Universe Returns Atop Domestic Weekend Box Office

Disney/Marvel Studios super hero tentpole release Black Widow ended the domestic box office weekend (through July 11) as most of its Marvel predecessors did: at No. 1.

The Scarlett Johansson-starrer generated $80 million across 4,160 screens over the three-day period. The first Marvel theatrical release in two years saw $39.5 million in ticket sales on Friday July 9 — the 10th biggest opening night for a June movie release. Black Window had generated generated more than $22 million at the foreign box office entering the weekend, pushing the title’s global haul past $215 million.

The movie also generated more than $60 million on subscription streaming service Disney+, where it is available for $29.99 purchase only.

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Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ trio of sequel releases that dominated the previous weekend’s box office continued strong, with F9: The Fast Saga generating more than $10 million, followed by The Boss Baby: Family Business with more than $8 million, and The Forever Purge with almost $7 million. Paramount Pictures’ enduring A Quiet Place Part II held strong with about $3 million — topping $150 million in domestic ticket sales.

The tallies suggest vaccinated moviegoers are returning to cinemas in greater numbers as business-as-usual returns to many public events following the pandemic — despite the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant in new COVID-19 infections.

(This story was updated on July 12)

A ‘Quiet Place’ No More: Memorial Day Weekend Box Office Soars Past $100 Million

It’s business as usual for the summer blockbuster. Paramount Pictures’ A Quiet Place Part II outdid the original, opening at an estimated $48.3 million across 3,726 screens over the three-day Memorial Day weekend, according to the studio. Adding Thursday’s record sneak peak, and the tally tops $58.5 million, which would surpass the original’s $54.3 million in 2018.

The post-apocalyptic sequel from director John Krasinski, and starring his wife Emily Blunt, was the biggest opening domestic weekend since Warner Bros. Pictures’ Godzilla vs. Kong, which tracked $34.1 million over four days in March, and was available concurrently for free on HBO Max. A Quiet Place Part II is available exclusively in theaters for 45 days, before streaming concurrently on Paramount+.

In No. 2 is Disney’s Cruella, with an estimated $26.5 million across 3,892 screens over four days. The title is also available for $29.99 purchase on Premier Access to Disney+ subscribers. The movie, starring Emma Stone, tracked another $16.1 million internationally for global haul of $43 million.

When combined, the two movies helped the domestic box office surpass $100 million — the highest tally since the pandemic began, shuttering movie theaters for much of 2020 and into this year. The figure still pales in comparison to the 2019 Memorial Day gross of $232 million.

Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ F9 topped the $229 million globally, despite a 85% drop in theatrical revenue in China. The long-running actioner opens in the United States June 24.

 

Jason Statham’s ‘Wrath of Man’ Tops Domestic Weekend Box Office

Following consecutive weekends of fantasy monsters and Japanese anime ruling the domestic box office, down-to-earth shoot-’em-up Wrath of Man reclaimed theatrical supremacy. The MGM/United Artists Releasing title, starring Jason Statham, is reportedly projected to take in $8.1 million in revenue across 2,800 screens through May 9. To date, the title, which is not concurrently available to stream, has taken in $17.6 million internationally.

In doing so, the action thriller would top recent vigilante box office openings for Universal Pictures’ Nobody ($6.8 million) and Open Road Films’ The Marksman with $3.1 million.

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Another box office newcomer, Sony Pictures comedy Here Today, starring Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish, took in $900,000 across 1,200 screens.

Meanwhile, recent box office leaders such as Funimation’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train ($3 million, $435 million globally), Warner Bros. Pictures’ Godzilla vs. Kong ($1.9 million, $422 million) and Mortal Kombat ($2.3 million, $72 million), and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon ($1.8 million, $105 million), all remained resilient at movie screens, while also available on streaming and digital platforms.

The total domestic box office, which encompassed most screens operating at 50% capacity due to the pandemic, approached $20 million.

 

Funimation’s ‘Demon Slayer’ Tops ‘Mortal Kombat’ in Domestic Weekend Box Office

Anime appears to be topping video games at the domestic weekend box office through May 2. Funimation’s Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is projected to best Warner Bros. Pictures’ Mortal Kombat with an estimated $6.4 million in ticket sales to $6.2 million, respectively. The results, if they hold, reverse the previous week’s tally that saw Kombat edge Slayer by about $2.1 million. Both titles saw their box office plummet more than 70% from their debuts.

Mortal Kombat

Demon Slayer, which reportedly ranks as the third-highest anime theatrical release in the U.S. (behind Pokemon: The First Movie and Pokemon: The Movie 2000) remains Japan’s all-time box office champ with more than $394 million. The title has tracked about $435 million in ticket sales globally.

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Kombat has generated $34 million across about 3,000 domestic screens, topping $63 million worldwide. The movie is streaming concurrently on HBO Max as part of WarnerMedia’s 2021 strategy to release the studio’s entire theatrical slate on SVOD.

Rounding out the podium is Warner’s international monster epic, Godzilla vs. Kong, which tracked about $2.7 million in ticket sales, $90 million worldwide. The movie is also streaming on Max.

Among the top five theatrical releases, new horror flick Separation tallied about $1.7 million in revenue across 1,700 screens. The Open Road release topped Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon and Universal Pictures’ Nobody with more than $1.2 million each. Both movies are available on digital retail platforms, yet have generated $23.3 million and $41.4 million at the box office, respectively.

 

‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Repeats Atop Domestic Weekend Box Office Concurrent With Disney+ Access

Walt Disney Studios’ strategy of simultaneously releasing films in theaters and on its branded subscription streaming service, at an additional cost, appears to be working.

Despite its availability on Disney+ at a $29.99 purchase price, Raya and the Last Dragon topped the domestic box office for the second weekend March 14 with a reported $5.5 million in projected ticket sales from more than 2,100 screens nationwide. That’s down just 35% from $8.5 million in domestic ticket sales in the previous-week period. So far, the animated Raya has generated $15.8 million in U.S. ticket sales and $52.6 million globally since debuting March 5.

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The remaining top theatrical releases mirrored the previous weekend, with Warner Bros. Pictures’ Tom & Jerry generating $4.1  million ($26 million total) from 2,434 screens; Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) with $2.25 million ($6.9 million total) from 1,995 screens; and Boogie (Universal/Focus Features) with $730,000 ($2.2 million) from 1,272 screens.

Impressively, The Croods: A New Age (Universal/DreamWorks Animation) continues to resonate across multiple platforms with $530,000 ($54.3 million) in weekend ticket sales. The title, which was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Feb. 23, currently ranks as the top-selling packaged-media release in 2021, according to The NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service.

In the meantime, with Los Angeles area theaters slated to re-open next weekend at 25% capacity, the box office is expected to continue a slow but steady return to normalcy as moviegoers get vaccinated. More than 101 million arms have received the COVID-19 vaccine through March 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The domestic box office was up 16.5% last weekend (March 5-7) from the previous-year period with $22.95 million in revenue; and up 166% Feb. 26-28 with $19.74 million.

Warner Bros.’ ‘Tom & Jerry’ Tops $13.6 Million Domestic Weekend Box Office — Second-Highest Debut in Pandemic Era

Following a $4 million Feb. 26 domestic box office debut, Warner Bros. Pictures saw its live-action animated feature Tom & Jerry, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, generate a projected $13.6 million across more than 2,400 screens through Feb. 28. The tally, which surpassed the studio’s $12.5 million projection, is the second-highest theatrical weekend debut during the pandemic, after the studio’s opening $16.4 million Christmas weekend for Wonder Woman 1984. Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age held the original pandemic box office record with $9.7 million over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The animated sequel generated $1.2 million in a distant No. 2 position — the only other theatrical release to break a million in domestic revenue. Croods: A New Age has now generated $52.4 million in 14 weeks of release. The movie is also available on digital and packaged media retail.

Rounding out the top 5, Warner’s The Little Things had $925,000 in ticket sales ($12.9 million since launching Jan. 29); WW84 had $710,000 ($43.6 million since Christmas Day);  and The Marksman, generated $680,000 in ticket sales ($12.3 million since mid-January debut).

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Tom & Jerry, like WW84, The Little Things and last weekend’s Judas and the Black Messiah, had a concurrent debut on subscription streaming platform HBO Max. With 50% of domestic screens still closed due to government restrictions, Warner is releasing its entire 2021 theatrical slate simultaneously on Max.

No. 2 theatrical chain Regal, which has been closed since last year, is expected to open select screens next weekend as coronavirus infections decrease nationwide and potential vaccinated moviegoers increase.

Analyst: Theatrical Return Could ‘Normalize’ in July

With President Biden predicting 1.5 million daily COVID-19 vaccinations nationwide by mid-spring, the return of the domestic box office could be right around the corner. Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter believes the box office could “normalize” as early as July as vaccinations roll out, and virus infections/deaths decline.

“We maintain that most people will remain reluctant to attend the movies until they receive their vaccine, or in the case that the
transmission rate significantly falls,” Pachter wrote in a Feb. 22 note. “Simply stated, we do not expect attendance levels to begin to normalize until July at the earliest.”

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Pachter contends AMC Theatres and Cinemark have taken the right precautions — installing high-quality air filtration systems, implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, reducing seating capacity, and block seating to preserve social distancing. Regal, which remains shuttered, has taken similar steps.

The analyst bases much of his optimism on the strong return of the Chinese box office — the second-largest in the world — which saw a major boost from a record Lunar New Year weekend with action comedy Detective Chinatown 3 opening to $393 million.

“Chinese box office bodes well for Imax, global theatres post-COVID,” Pachter wrote. “There was clearly pent-up demand in China as audiences returned en masse once theaters re-opened, and in Q4 Imax revenue was down only 4% YoY in the region. Through Feb. 14, Imax is trending up 471% from [the previous-year period].”

That said, Pachter estimates the Q1 U.S. box office is trending
down 93.6% through Feb. 21, with ticket sales down 88.1% year-over-year, and 2021 trending up 122.5% over 2020 (down 59% over 2019). More than 50% of theaters in major markets remain closed.

“We expect 2022 to return to 2019 levels on pent-up demand for long-delayed films,” he wrote.

Universal’s ‘Croods 2’ Again Tops Pandemic Weekend Box Office; Narrowing Revenue Gap to ‘Tenet’

Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age again topped the domestic weekend box office Feb. 19-21, generating an estimated $1.9 million across more than 1,900 screens — the fifth time the title has been No. 1 in its 13 weeks of release. A New Age now tops $50 million in U.S. theaters and more than $154 million worldwide. The numbers, which don’t include PVOD and TVOD sales, suggest the A New Age is approaching Warner Bros.’ pandemic king Tenet at $57.9 million ($363.1 million globally).

In second is Warner detective drama The Little Things, with $1.2 million in ticket sales across more than 2,000 screens. The title, co-starring Oscar winners Jared Leto, Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, has totaled $12 million ($18.5 million worldwide) since debuting in theaters and on HBO Max Jan. 28.

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Similar Warner theatrical/HBO Max release Judas and the Black Messiah finished No. 3 with more than $900,000 in ticket sales, $3.3 million overall since its Feb. 12 bow, followed by DC superheroine Wonder Woman 1984 at No. 4 with more than $800,000; $42 million total ($158 million globally).

Finally, Open Road Film’s The Marksman rounded out the top five with $725,000 ($11.4 million) across 1,643 screens. The Liam Neeson-starrer has generated more than $15 million worldwide since its Jan. 15 debut.

Universal’s ‘The Croods: A New Age’ Returns Atop Domestic Box Office

Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age re-emerged atop the pandemic/winter weather challenged Presidents’ Day domestic weekend box office (Feb. 11-14) with an estimated $2.66 million in ticket sales across 1,890 screens. The movie has been a perennial draw during the COVID-19 pandemic, topping the domestic box office five consecutive weekends, beginning with its debut last Thanksgiving (Nov. 25-29, 2020). A New Age, which is also available on PVOD, has tracked $48.9 million in the U.S.; more than $150 million worldwide. The title releases on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on Feb. 23.

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LaKeith Stanfield in Warner Bros.’ Judas and the Black Messiah

Other top weekend draws included Warner Bros. Pictures’ trio The Little Things ($2.4 million), the debut of Judas and the Black Messiah ($2.4 million), and Wonder Woman 1984 ($1.1 million). Black Messiah and Little Things are both available free to subscribers to stream on HBO Max. Open Road Film’s The Marksman, starring Liam Neeson, generated a projected $1.1 million, while Robin Wright’s directorial debut, Land, from Universal/Focus Features, tracked about $1 million.

The total box office tally, which includes Monster Hunter, News of the World, The War with Grandpa, Golden Globe nominated Promising Young Woman and Willy’s Wonderland among the Top 10, ranges from $10.6 million to $11.6 million depending on the length of the extended weekend.