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A Critically Panned Sequel To A Classic 90s Movie Is Finding New Success On Netflix

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A Critically Panned Sequel To A Classic 90s Movie Is Finding New Success On Netflix

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Summary

  • After initially flopping in 2021,
    Space Jam: A New Legacy
    has made a surprising comeback on Netflix’s Top 10 movies chart.
  • The
    Space Jam
    sequel hit the United States chart at #6 after becoming available on the streamer less than a week ago.
  • Despite mixed critical reception, audience reviews have been positive, praising the movie for being funny and family-friendly.
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Years after flopping at the box office, Space Jam: A New Legacy climbs onto Netflix’s Top 10 movies chart. The 2021 movie was the long-awaited sequel to the 1996 original Space Jam. It follows LeBron James and his young son Dom (Cedric Joe), who are sucked into a digital realm and forced to team up with the Looney Tunes for a basketball game against an evil AI’s avatars. Upon its release, the movie was considered a critical and commercial disappointment. However, it has been making a comeback on Netflix.

Recently, Space Jam: A New Legacy landed on Netflix’s Top 10 Most-Watched Movies in the United States chart after becoming available for streaming on the platform on April 2. In less than a week, the movie reached #6 on Netflix’s weekly Top 10 movies chart. It seems Netflix viewers were having a big throwback week, as most of the movies on the chart were years-old releases, such as Split, Glass, Skyscraper, and The Little Things. Space Jam: A New Legacy even beat the sole 2024 release on the chart, The Wages of Fear, which sat at #10.

Could Space Jam 3 Still Happen?

It’s Netflix Success Could Open The Doors For Space Jam 3 Talks.

The movie’s Netflix comeback is one of several indicators that a third movie may not be destined to flop, which is especially exciting given that director Malcolm D. Lee expressed interest in
Space Jam 3
.

Given the critical and box office struggles of Space Jam: A New Legacy, the prospects of a third film in the franchise didn’t look good. However, when a movie makes a comeback on Netflix, it can be indicative of lingering interest in the franchise or even re-evaluation. It’s especially interesting because the movie’s box office performance is difficult to interpret. At first, the movie crushed expectations, debuting at an impressive $31.1 million at the box office, which was better than the original’s debut and especially impressive in the wake of the pandemic.

Unfortunately, by week two, the sequel experienced a devastating 69% decline in earnings, which it never recovered from. Similar to its Netflix performance, its big opening suggested the movie garnered high interest. Meanwhile, the Space Jam sequel’s dual theatrical and Max streaming release may have caused the box office decline rather than film quality and poor critics’ reviews. In particular, the movie holds a strong Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 79%, in contrast to the rotten 25% critics’ score. The sequel failed to live up to the original, but audience reviews suggest this wasn’t a huge deterrent.

Space Jam Movies

RT Critical Score

RT Audience Score

Space Jam (1996)

43%

63%

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)

25%

79%

Many audience reviews acknowledged that Space Jam: A New Legacy was a funny, family-friendly, and nostalgic affair that was watchable without being overly sophisticated. The movie’s Netflix comeback is one of several indicators that a third movie may not be destined to flop, which is especially exciting given that director Malcolm D. Lee expressed interest in Space Jam 3. He even teased an interesting plot that would feature Dwayne Johnson and shift the focus from basketball to wrestling. Space Jam: A New Legacy‘s Netflix rise raises hope that a third movie isn’t entirely out of the question.

Source: Netflix

Space Jam_ A New Legacy
Space Jam: A New Legacy

In 2021, the cult classic Space Jam finally received a sequel with Space Jam: A New Legacy. This direct sequel was directed by Malcolm D. Lee and features a cast of Looney Tunes characters and NBA superstar LeBron James. This release sees a rogue A.I. that captures and forces the Basketball icon to create a team to compete against its own.



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