Box Office: M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Old’ Beats ‘Space Jam,’ ‘Snake Eyes’

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In a twist fitting for an M. Night Shyamalan thriller, “Old” is the No. 1 movie at the domestic box office with $16.5 million in ticket sales.

Heading into the weekend, reigning champ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and fellow newcomer “Snake Eyes” were projected to lead North American charts. Instead, “Space Jam 2” had a huge decline from its opening weekend and “Snake Eyes” fell slightly short of expectations, leaving “Old” to slither to a surprising first place finish.

It may not be the kind of pull-the-rug-out-from-under-you, leave-your-jaw-on-the-floor style finale favored by “The Sixth Sense” filmmaker, but it does demonstrate how wild and unpredictable the box office can be as it tries to recapture momentum during the pandemic and grapples with new hybrid distribution strategies. Stability won’t return anytime soon. New variants of COVID-19 have been driving a spike in infections, recently forcing Los Angeles, the country’s top moviegoing market, to reinstate its mask mandate.

This weekend’s two new nationwide releases — “Old,” a horror story about a family vacationing at a beach that causes them to age rapidly, as well as “Snake Eyes,” a “G.I. Joe” origin story starring Henry Golding — are only playing in theaters. That’s a deviation from the release strategy deployed by other summer movies, including Disney’s “Black Widow” (also on Disney Plus for an extra fee) and Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” (on HBO Max at no additional cost to subscribers). “Snake Eyes” is moving to Paramount Plus 45 days after its theatrical debut, while “Old” will have a traditional home entertainment release.

“Snake Eyes” opened in second place with $13.3 million from 3,521 locations.

At the No. 3 spot, the Scarlett Johansson-led Marvel adventure “Black Widow” collected $11.6 million from 4,250 locations. After three weekends on the big screen, the film has generated $154 million in the U.S. and Canada.

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” fell to fourth place with $9.5 million, marking a brutal 69% decline from its $31 million opening weekend.

More to come…

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