How ‘Space Jam 2’ Pulled Off a Box Office Surprise

·1 min read

Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” was not expected to do much better than the modest numbers seen from other family films at this summer’s box office. Instead, it set a new high for the genre with a $31.6 million opening. The difference? Millennial nostalgia. So far, the animated sequels that have hit theaters haven’t found crossover appeal beyond parents and kids. “Peter Rabbit 2” opened to $10 million last month and has so far grossed $39 million domestically after five weekends. “The Boss Baby: Family Business” has shown better numbers with a $16 million opening and a $44 million total after three weekends, but audience demographics for both films showed only mild turnout from general audiences. But in CinemaScore audience polls for “Space Jam 2,” 72% of the audience was under the age of 35, but only 32% was under the age of 18. That means that a significant chunk of the audience was older Gen Zers in the 18-24 range and millennials who were kids when the original “Space Jam” was released in 1996. While critics who panned “Space Jam” asked, “Who is this movie for?” the answer seems to be both kids and younger adults. The...

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