New Warner Bros. release Space Jam: A New Legacy rocketed to the top of the North American box office over the weekend, taking in $31.7 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 strong performance, which came 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 $25.8 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 $7.7 million, bringing the four-week domestic total of the Vin Diesel/John Cena action thriller to almost $155 million.

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

Further down the top 10, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain – the Focus Features/CNN Films movie about the world-travelling chef – had the best opening of a documentary this year, at just short of $2 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were: The Forever Purge ($4.1 million), A Quiet Place: Part II ($2.2 million), Roadrunner ($2 million), Cruella ($1.2 million) and Pig ($970,000).

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