Summer Box Office: Family-Friendly and Morally Uplifting Movies Continue to Lead Blockbusters
By Movieguide® Staff
As summer the blockbusters continue rollout, SNAKE EYES and OLD look to follow up on SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY’s triumph in its opening weekend.
The two upcoming movies plan to topple Warner Bros.’s family comedy, which earned $31 million in ticket sales in its debut. However, both the G.I. JOE spinoff and M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller will only be released in theaters and most likely will not dethrone the family-friendly movie.
Movieguide® previously reported:
Warner Bros.’ sequel to the 1996 movie starring Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes’ most beloved characters defeated its competition in its opening weekend at the domestic box office.
In a recent report from Variety, the headline read: “Box Office: ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Beats ‘Black Widow’ in Surprise Victory.”
However, here at Movieguide®, the box office numbers are no surprise. While critics’ scores did not reflect the movie’s achievement, fans attended 3,965 theaters across North America, proving that family-friendly content wins.
Although the SPACE JAM sequel surprised critics, it continues a trend of pandemic-era movies with family-friendly and moral content defeating overly immoral theatrical releases.
“This weekend is a positive indication that the family audience is alive, well and, according to ‘Space Jam 2’s’ enthusiastic audience scores, still thrilled by the big screen,” David A. Gross, head of the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, said.
As for the competition, Paramount’s “Snake Eyes” and Universal’s “Old” are eyeing openings in the low- to mid-teens. All three films are targeting younger male audiences, which could cannibalize box office revenues.
If any film has a shot of stealing the box office crown, “Snake Eyes” appears to be the best bet. The “G.I. Joe” origin story is projecting to make around $15 million to $16 million from 3,516 screens in the U.S. and Canada. Some estimates suggest that figure has the potential to surpass $20 million, which would likely be enough to dethrone “Space Jam 2.”
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While Movieguide® has yet to review SNAKE EYES and OLD, they could struggle to keep up with this summer’s box office winners like F9 and A QUIET PLACE PART II if they contain excessive violence, language, or intense content; which were also theater exclusives.
According to Variety’s list of “Top Domestic Opening Weekends for Films After March 2020,” the top five movies contained moral and uplifting themes.
The top ten list reads:
- BLACK WIDOW
- A QUIET PLACE PART II
- GODZILLA VS. KONG
- SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY
- THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT
- MORTAL KOMBAT (2021)
- DEMON SLAYER: MUGEN TRAIN
While not an exhaustive list, the top five movies received higher scores in regards to their moral and uplifting content in the Movieguide® review.
The research firm National Research Group conducted polls over the past 15 months, as domestic and global theaters experienced unprecedented closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If there’s hope for a box office bounce back, it lies in bringing families back to the theaters… the most recent blockbuster releases—like THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, CRUELLA, and A QUIET PLACE PART II—targeted older audiences, it follows that the most prominent demographic, families, were not fully tapped.
Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian noted: “The long-term success for movie theaters, however, will depend on attracting all demographics to the big screen.”