“Space Jam: A New Legacy” hit theaters (and HBO Max) on Friday and grossed $31.7 million in its opening domestic weekend — the most successful family film debut of the pandemic.
The long-awaited Warner Bros. movie stars LeBron James and was accompanied by a robust marketing campaign, which reportedly included a $15 million spend on TV ads.
- Marvel’s “Black Widow” — which debuted last weekend with an $80 million domestic bow — slid to $26.3 million, good enough for the No. 2 spot behind “Space Jam.”
- The original “Space Jam,” which starred Michael Jordan, is still the highest-grossing basketball film of all time. The 1996 film brought in $230 million at the global box office and more than $1 billion in merchandise sales.
Over-the-top product placement in the new “Space Jam” and constant references to Warner Bros.’ vast universe of intellectual property turned off most professional critics. The film featured over 100 cameos from Warner characters and properties, from Harry Potter and Batman to “The Matrix.”
James had a couple of words for critics when the numbers came in.
Linking to an article about the film’s opening weekend box-office success, he tweeted, “Hi Haters!” with a smiley face.