King LeBron reigns again as new 'Space Jam' tops NAmerica box office

·2-min read
Basketball superstar LeBron James is seen arriving at the world premiere in Los Angeles of "Space Jam: A New Legacy" on July 12, 2021, in which he stars

New Warner Bros. release "Space Jam: A New Legacy" rocketed to the top of the North American box office over the weekend, taking in an estimated $31.6 million in the best showing of a family film since Covid first hammered the industry.

The live action/animated movie -- a sequel nearly 25 years after the original "Space Jam" with Michael Jordan -- has NBA superstar LeBron James teaming up with Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters in a high-stakes basketball game against a rogue artificial-intelligence entity threatening his son.

The film's surprise showing, despite middling-to-terrible reviews -- the New York Post called it an "abomination" -- propelled it past last weekend's leader, Disney superhero film "Black Widow."

That Marvel Studios production, starring Scarlett Johansson, took in $25.6 million in the Friday-through-Sunday period, down sharply from its $80.4 million opening, according to industry watcher Exhibitor Relations.

In third place was Sony's psychological thriller "Escape Room: Tournament of Champions," at $8.8 million. Taylor Russell and Logan Miller, reprising their roles in 2019's "Escape Room," face a series of deadly traps and puzzles set by the evil Minos.

Fourth place went to Universal's "F9: The Fast Saga," at $7.6 million, bringing the four-week domestic total of the Vin Diesel/John Cena action thriller to $154 million.

And in fifth was Universal's animated "Boss Baby: Family Business," at $4.7 million.

Meantime, "Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain" -- the Focus Features/CNN Films movie about the world-traveling chef -- had the best opening of a documentary this year, at $1.9 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"The Forever Purge" ($4.2 million)

"A Quiet Place: Part II" ($2.3 million)

"Roadrunner" ($1.9 million)

"Cruella" ($1.1 million)

"Pig" ($945,000)