One of these days we’re going to get that G.I. Joe franchise that Paramount is desperate to give us, but based on the early numbers and critical reactions, it isn’t going to come from Snake Eyes. The hybrid of reboot and prequel starring Henry Golding could only muster a little over $13 million this weekend, with top spot at the box office going to fellow debutant Old.
M. Night Shyamalan may have helmed a few duds throughout his career, but his name is still a brand, and audiences are clearly interested in what he’s been cooking up after his last three features all pulled in strong numbers. A first frame of $16.5 million is ahead of projections, and with an $18 million budget it should be profitable by this time next week.
Perhaps the biggest news is Space Jam: A New Legacy falling off a cliff, having slipped down to fourth and seen its takings drop by almost 70%. LeBron James blasted his detractors on social media when the sequel opened to a healthy $32 million, but even by the standards of the pandemic era it’s a massive nosedive.
Black Widow takes fourth and has now sailed passed $150 million domestic as it closes in on $300 million globally, but the Shyamalan camp will be the happiest in Hollywood right now. Old has generated a mixed reception, but high concept thrills are never going to go out of fashion, and while many thought it might be a close race between the filmmaker’s latest and Snake Eyes, the martial arts actioner struggled to gain much in the way of buzz. Next week brings Dwayne Johnson’s Jungle Cruise, though, so we’re already guaranteed a new champion.