After Space Jam: A New Legacy took the top spot at the box office away from Black Widow last weekend, a new champion has been crowned yet again. The thrills of director M. Night Shyamalan were in demand by movie-going audiences with the filmmaker’s new movie Old winning the weekend. However, it was hardly a record-breaking performance, making a little more than half of what the Space Jam sequel raked in a week ago.
New Releases Top Charts with Dismal Numbers
Variety has the box office report that puts Old at the top of the charts. A paltry $16.5 million was enough to win the weekend, and Old wasn’t even given a streaming or VOD release to result in lower theatrical numbers. The fact that this number was enough to take the top spot at the box office shows how much a movie’s second weekend of release has been impacted by a film’s availability on streaming or VOD while it’s in theaters, because Space Jam: A New Legacy dropped all the way to fourth place. But more on that later.
Universal isn’t necessarily disappointed with the box office results of Old. In fact, Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, is expecting the movie to have long legs and bring in small amounts over a longer period of time. Orr told the trade, “M. Night Shyamalan has an incredible track record. And these can be difficult films to market because you don’t want to give away too much.” So perhaps the mystery being preserved will keep audiences curious.
Snake Eyes didn’t do Paramount Pictures any favors with the relaunch of the G.I. Joe franchise debuting in second place with only $13.3 million. Even taking the pandemic into account, that’s a disappointing debut for a movie that was hoped would usher in a new era for G.I. Joe. Perhaps it’s because the movie was marketed as a spin-off rather than a franchise reboot. Maybe it’s because it didn’t have any bankable stars. Then again, maybe it’s more likely that audiences are not only still cautious about going to theaters, but they’re being more picky about what they go out of their way to see in the wake of the pandemic.
This is bad news for a movie that cost $88 million to produce, and the movie reportedly needs to generate approximately $160 million to $175 million globally to break even. Here’s hoping the international numbers fare better, but with only $4 million coming from 37 overseas markets, it’s not looking good so far. That’s only 29% of the international market, so there’s still hope the movie could have a bigger draw elsewhere. But maybe it’s time to juice things up with a G.I. Joe and Transformers crossover.
The Rest of the Box Office
As for the holdovers on the box office charts, Black Widow landed in third place with $11.6 million. That’s a surprise after Space Jam: A New Legacy took over Black Widow in its opening weekend. But it would seem the sequel being available on HBO Max made the audience turnout in a second weekend much smaller than usual. Black Widow has the benefit of only being available at home for an extra fee through Disney+ Premier Access, so audiences are probably more keen on giving the Marvel movie a chance in theaters than paying extra to watch at home.
Rather than exceeding projections as it did in its debut weekend on the charts, Space Jam: A New Legacy did even worse than box office analysts predicted. Originally tracking for another $15 million to $18 million, the animated/live-action hybrid could only muster up $9.5 million in fourth place. Perhaps the reviews and word of mouth after the first weekend didn’t help the movie bring in any new theatrical audiences, but the HBO Max availability is probably the biggest factor.
Finally, F9 rounded out the top five, adding another $4.7 million to its box office total in its fifth weekend in theaters. Even though the movie isn’t quite as big of a hit as its predecessors, it’s still earned $163 million domestically, and that’s not bad for pandemic box office numbers. Worldwide, it’s the first movie to pass $600 million since the pandemic began.
The box office continues to be somewhat unpredictable as audiences are either hesitant to return to the movies or waiting for certain movies to hit streaming, VOD or home video. Though the coronavirus pandemic isn’t nearly as impactful as it was last year, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is still infecting people at an increasing rate in a lot of markets. Los Angeles, one of the biggest box office markets, recently brought back their mask mandate, so things aren’t doing as well as we’d like to think. You can thank the unvaccinated and anyone still cautioning against the COVID vaccine for that. Stay tuned to see how the box office continues to shake out as more movies come back to theaters.
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