Weekend Box Office Predictions: July 16 – 18, 2021

Weekend box office predictions are provided by Daniel Garris, courtesy of BoxOfficeReport.com.

After debuting with a post-pandemic best $80.37 million last weekend; Disney’s Black Widow will likely find itself in a very close battle for first place this weekend with Warner’s Space Jam: A New Legacy. While Black Widow was off to a big start last weekend, the film was also especially front-loaded towards its $39.51 million opening day performance (which included an estimated $13.20 million from Thursday preview shows). With that in mind, Black Widow will be in store for a sharp second weekend decline this weekend, before likely stabilizing after this weekend. Midweek grosses for Black Widow have been respectable and the film passed the $100 million domestic mark on Wednesday after taking in $5.50 million for the day. Black Widow looks to be going over well with audiences, though the film’s A- rating on CinemaScore isn’t quite as high as those of many other recent films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). One of the better pre-pandemic comparisons for Black Widow should be Ant-Man and The Wasp, which fell 62 percent in its second weekend back in July of 2018 to gross $29.10 million. Black Widow will likely have a larger second weekend percentage decline than Ant-Man and The Wasp did, but its opening weekend performance was also a bit higher. In the box office battle with Space Jam: A New Legacy this weekend, the big advantages for Black Widow are that the film looks to have a significantly higher showtimes per location average than Space Jam: A New Legacy this weekend and that Black Widow will be holding onto its IMAX screens this weekend. Black Widow will also get a small boost this weekend from playing in 115 more locations than this past week (for a total of 4,275 locations), due in part to the Ontario providence in Canada starting to re-open theatres this weekend. BoxOfficeReport expects Black Widow to decline a very sharp 66 percent from last weekend, to just hold onto first place this weekend with $27.5 million. That would represent the largest second weekend gross since the re-opening of theatres (a mark currently held by F9 with $23.01 million).

25 Years after the release of 1996’s Space Jam, the first Space Jam follow-up, Space Jam: A New Legacy arrives in theatres this weekend. The Malcolm D. Lee directed animated / live-action hybrid features LeBron James taking up the mantle from Michael Jordan in the original film, as well as the return of a number of Warner’s most popular Looney Tunes characters. Critical reviews for Space Jam: A New Legacy have been mostly negative, but the film is likely to be critic-proof at the box office, at least on opening weekend. As with Warner’s other 2021 releases thus far, Space Jam: A New Legacy will be opening day-and-date this weekend, theatrically and via streaming on HBO Max. The original Space Jam was a healthy performer at the box office, having opened with $27.53 million, before going on to gross $90.42 million domestically. The film’s following has remained strong over the years, with Space Jam long remaining a property that many of its fans have wanted to see receive a follow-up. Like fellow Warner Bros. release Mortal Kombat, which opened with $23.30 million earlier this year, Space Jam could also open in the same neighborhood as its 1990s predecessor (without taking into account ticket price inflation). As mentioned, the biggest hurdle for Space Jam: A New Legacy in its race with Black Widow this weekend is that Space Jam: A New Legacy will have a significant showtimes disadvantage in comparison to Black Widow and also won’t have the aid of Thursday preview shows to help make up for some of that discrepancy. Look for Space Jam: A New Legacy to debut in a very close second place this weekend with $27.0 million, which would represent the fifth largest three-day opening weekend performance since re-opening.

Also opening in wide release this weekend is Sony’s Escape Room: Tournament of Champions. The Adam Robitel directed horror film is a sequel to 2019’s Escape Room, which was also directed by Robitel. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions stars Taylor Russell and Logan Miller, who are also returning from the previous film. Thus far critical reviews for Escape Room: Tournament of Champions have been mixed, but that was also the case for Escape RoomEscape Room: Tournament of Champions will be playing in 2,815 locations this weekend and will also get an additional boost from Thursday preview shows that are beginning at 3PM. The original Escape Room had a pre-pandemic debut of $18.24 million back in January of 2019, before going on to gross $57.01 million domestically thanks to strong holding power for a horror film. While Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is unlikely to match the box office performance of its predecessor, the film should still be able to have a respectable performance this weekend. Compared to other recent horror sequels, Escape Room: Tournament of Champions could find itself debuting a bit ahead of the $8.75 million start of Spiral back in May, but also below the $12.55 million three-day opening of The Forever Purge two weeks ago. BoxOfficeReport feels that Escape Room: Tournament of Champions will open in third place this weekend with $10.0 million.

Last weekend Universal claimed places second through fourth, as F9 took in $11.44 million, followed by The Boss Baby: Family Business with $8.88 million and The Forever Purge with $7.14 million. After declining a respectable 50 percent last weekend in the face of Black WidowF9 should continue to further stabilize this weekend by experiencing a solid 39 percent decrease to claim fourth place with $7.0 million. In the process, F9 will surpass the $150 million domestic mark; making it just the second film since re-opening to do so (joining Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II). With both films facing new direct competition this weekend, The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge may not hold up quite as well as F9 this weekend, though as with other holdovers, both films will also get a bit of a boost from the mentioned re-opening of theatres in Ontario. Look for The Boss Baby: Family Business to decrease 43 percent to take fifth this weekend with $5.1 million and for The Forever Purge to decline a similar 45 percent to land in sixth with $3.9 million.

As for some of this weekend’s other holdovers, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II should continue to hold up well by declining a slim 24 percent to gross $2.4 million, while Disney’s Cruella could fall 45 percent (due in part to a significant theatre count loss this weekend) to gross $1.3 million.

Also opening in theatres this weekend are Focus’ Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain and NEON’s PigRoadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, is a documentary on the late Bourdain and was directed by Morgan Neville. Pig was directed by Michael Sarnoski and stars Nicolas Cage as a truffle hunter in search of his stolen pig. Critical reviews for both films have been very strong. Roadrunner will be playing in 926 locations this weekend and will have Thursday preview shows beginning at 7PM. As of publishing, an official location count for Pig isn’t available, but it appears that the film will receive a moderate release this weekend (and will have Thursday preview shows beginning at 5PM). BoxOfficeReport isn’t making an official prediction for either Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain or Pig this weekend, but the two films could find themselves in ninth and tenth place, respectively this weekend.

Read full predictions at BoxOfficeReport.com

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