Why LeBron James' ' Space Jam 2 ' is summer 2021's biggest open question
Warner Bros.Warner Bros. has released the second trailer forSpace Jam: A New Legacy. We got a somewhat clever “30 on 30” spoof featurette over the weekend, and now this trailer will play before theatrical showings ofIn the HeightsandPeter Rabbit: The Runaway
. I’m not going to pretend that this 25-years-later sequel, starring LeBron James instead of Michael Jordan, looks like some grand cinematic masterpiece. I saw the firstSpace Jamon opening weekend in November of 1996 and thought it was a painless and cute diversion. I was impressed at how Jordan was a smart enough actor not to try and steal scenes from the Looney Tunes and rolled my eyes at how it fetishized its one main female character, but otherwise shrugged accordingly.
The highest compliment I can pay is that it doesn’t seem to be targeted at nostalgic adults. Insertions of R-rated Warner Media characters (the hooligans inA Clockwork Orange, the nuns from Ken Russell'sThe Devils, etc.) into the crowd scenes notwithstanding, this looks like a kids flick through-and-through. Its rated PG (par for the course in 1996, but now I’m almost surprised they didn’t finagle a PG-13) and features the kind of humor that makes young kids laugh while parents look at their watch. And to a certain extent, that’s okay. Back in 1996, a movie like headtopics.com
Space Jamstarring a basketball star and a cartoon character facing off against aliens in an intergalactic basketball game, was unique amid action movies and studio programmers.It opened the week after Mel Gibson’sRansom, a $70 million, R-rated action thriller which would earn $309 million worldwide, more than the $230 million earned by the $90 million
Space Jam. And whileMars Attacks!turned into one of the most expensive private jokes in modern Hollywood history, it got clobbered by star-driven originals like John Travolta’sMichaeland Tom Cruise’sJerry Maguire. It is a cruel irony that 25 years later, the only “big” movies of late 1996 which would have a shot in hell of A) existing theatrically and B) succeeding theatrically are the franchise-specific likes of
Space Jam, Beavis and Buttheadand, although we’re getting a fifthScreamnext year because the Screamseries was popular 20-25 years ago.IsSpace Jam: A New Legacystill a viable IP 25 years later? IsSpace Jama popular movie to the point where all audiences (not just kids and chaperoning parents) actually want to see another go-around? Or is it a case of an unrequested IP extension that exists because the studio (and in this case, the top-billed star) wanted it to exist? A fracturing of pop culture means that famous sports stars aren’t quite as universally known/beloved as they arguably were in the
NBA Jamdays, and once againSpace Jam: A New Legacyfaces a marketplace where movies of this nature are par for the course. I don’t know the budget for this one, but I’m hoping it’s closer to $90 million than $150 million.Even adjusted for inflation, the original film’s “adjusted for inflation” $476 million global cume would barely cut it on a $150 million budget (notice how nobody is breaking down doors to make a sequel to the $433 million-grossing headtopics.com
Detective Pikachu). But even presuming it’s closer in budget to Read more: Forbes »
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Why LeBron James’ ‘Space Jam 2’ Is Summer 2021’s Biggest Open Question Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy , starring LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Zendaya (as Lola Bunny) and the Looney Tunes.
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