Marvel got posterized by LeBron.

In a surprise, Space Jam: A New Legacy beat Marvel’s Black Widow at the box office. The long-awaited sequel to the nostalgic ’90s favorite grossed an impressive $31.6 million over the weekend, while Black Widow earned $26.3 million. It was Space Jam’s first weekend in theaters and Black Widow’s second. Both movies are already available on streaming. Space Jam: A New Legacy is on HBO Max at no extra charge for subscribers while Black Widow can be watched at home on Disney+ with a “Premier Access” fee of $30.

Here’s the weekend box office top five:

  1. Space Jam: A New Legacy - $31.6 million
  2. Black Widow - $26.2 million
  3. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions - $8.8 million
  4. F9: The Fast Saga - $7.6 million
  5. The Boss Baby: Family Business - $4.7 milliion

Given that both films are available at home, they are each doing reasonably well. Black Widow has already earned more than $132 million in U.S. theaters, on top of whatever it is earning at home on Disney+. It did drop almost 70 percent from its opening weekend, though. A number that high usually translates to a movie that does not have strong word of mouth. The drop could also reflect some potential moviegoers fears about a rise in Covid cases around the country. Viewers in certain areas where the Delta variant is spreading may decide seeing a film is not worth the risk — especially when that film is already available for streaming.

While critics gave Space Jam bad reviews, opening weekend audiences were satisfied with the picture, at least according to CinemaScore; voters there gave the film a very solid A-. We’ll see how it does next weekend, when the big releases in theaters are the G.I. Joe movie Snake Eyes and the M. Night Shyamalan thriller Old.

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