Space Jam 2: A New Legacy enjoyed a decent opening week with $31 million at the box office. But its second week was brutal, and the film suffered an almost 70% drop in ticket sales - at this point, it would be satisfactory if the movie broke even. It seems like outside basketball, LeBron doesn't have the star power we assumed he did.
Is LeBron James losing popularity?
LeBron surprised everyone with his role in "Trainwreck." He wasn't just athlete funny; he was legit funny. But it seems that as it is in basketball, there's a difference between being the main guy or having a few good moments coming in from the bench. James is still no.1 in jersey sales, but movies are a different universe. As much as LeBron has a lot of recognizability outside the basketball world, that's far from being an automatic box office hit.
According to Box Office Reports, last weekend, Space Jam 2: A New Legacy dropped 69% in ticket sales. As it stands, the domestic gross is only $51.37 million and $93.96 million total on a $150 million budget.
Space Jam vs Space Jam 2
Of course, the comparison to Michael Jordan and Space Jam is the first place everyone goes. The same principle in comparing the two applies here. You can't do that without recognizing the completely different context in which LeBron and Space Jam 2 are happening. There was no streaming in 1996.
“The live-action/ animated sports comedy featuring LeBron James fell to fourth place with $9.5 million in its sophomore outing, marking a brutal 69% decline from its $31 million opening weekend. The sequel was tracking to make $15 million to $18 million between Friday and Sunday, which would have been a standard 45%-50% drop. Films geared toward family audiences, such as “Space Jam,” have been holding exceptionally well during the pandemic, but its hybrid release on HBO Max, along with mediocre reviews, likely cut into ticket sales.”
Rebecca Rubin, Variety
In addition to being available in the movies, HBO Max users can watch Space Jam 2 without any additional cost. With this, many kids and adults probably preferred to watch it at the convenience of their homes to avert the risk of being exposed to COVID-19. In terms of other movies with the same release, there is also a lot to watch out for. Space Jam 2 coincided with the movies “F9,” “Black Widow,” “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins,” and “Old.” Summer is always loaded with blockbusters - the original Space Jam was released in December.
The movie is really for those fans who watched Michael Jordan defeat the Monstars in 1996. Those kids are probably in their 30s or 40s right now. The young ones who will never know the hype surrounding the first Space Jam will never understand why it took more than 20 years to release its sequel. However, critics claim James pushed through with its production despite the many challenges because it will add another milestone to his legacy. From one great player to the next, the movie fails in one area that is most crucial: make it worthy of a watch.
A lot of negative reviews poured in after the opening week. Those who got to watch it probably did not recommend it to their friends. In this case, the moviegoers and critics said a piece of their mind, and others followed. Now, experts worry if the movie can still break even with its massive $150 million budget.