The better-than-expected start for Space Jam 2 pushed last weekend's champion, Disney and Marvel's Black Widow, to second place on box office charts.

The superhero adventure, starring Scarlett Johansson, brought in $26.3 million in its second weekend, representing a huge 67 per cent decline. So far, Black Widow has generated $131 million in North America and $264 million globally.

Despite concerns over the Delta variant and its hybrid release on HBO Max, Space Jam: A New Legacy landed the largest debut for a family film during Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier in the pandemic, movies geared toward younger audiences–such as The Croods: A New Age and Tom and Jerry–had been the biggest moneymakers.

But summer offerings like The Boss Baby: Family Business, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Spirit Untamed had each fallen flat with family crowds.

Space Jam 2, which arrived 26 years after the original, is the first film in some time to bring moviegoers with kids back to theaters.

Males accounted for 53 per cent of sales, while 52 per cent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25.

"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," says David A Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research.

Sony's Escape Room: Tournament of Champions opened in third place with $8.4 million from 2,815 locations. Though on par with industry expectations, its three-day debut marks a steep decline from its predecessor, 2019's Escape Room, which debuted to $18 million and ended its box office run with $57 million.

The sequel cost $15 million to produce, an increase from the first film's $9 million price tag.

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