Space Jam Dunks Black Widow at Box Office

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LeBron James starrer Space Jam: A New Legacy has topped the North American Box Office by taking $31.6m (£23.8m) in its opening weekend.

A joint streaming release, it sets a pandemic-era record for a family film.

The live-action/animated basketball film showcases NBA star LeBron James along with the Looney Tunes characters to save his son.

It is a sequel to the 1996 original starring Michael Jordan.

Despite poor reviews, Space Jam is a success, meaning it topples Marvel’s Black Widow.

Critics have grilled the film’s deceptive heavy product placement for HBO Max. It is the streaming service that is hosting all the Warner Bros’ 2021 releases – including New Legacy.

The movie’s plotline sees James inserted into the production company’s intellectual property library and tour a multiverse – run by an evil, all-powerful algorithm, Al G Rhythm – that doubly promotes their wider film roster.

Sam Thielman wrote in his NBC review –

“Granny and Speedy Gonzales (now just called Speedy) hang out in The Matrix, Yosemite Sam plays piano in Casablanca and Daffy Duck causes disasters that Superman has to stop” 

He further adds this – “manages to both promote and insult great movies and cartoons by trying to make them part of a crummy, half-hearted promotional multiverse based on the Warner Bros. Entertainment organization chart”.

On the other hand, The Guardian’s Simran Hans gave Space Jam a two-star review and said that James’ “natural charisma” is “bogged down… by distracting cameos”.

James responded to the criticism by tweeting “Hi haters” along with a grinning emoji. He also posted an article on its box office victory over Marvel’s Black Widow.

Marvel’s summer blockbuster, starring Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff brought in $26.3m (£18m) in its second weekend.

The figures marked a sharp 67% decline from its $80m (£58m) opening sales that made it the highest-grossing post-Covid cinema release.

 

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