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Box office: M. Night Shyamalan’s 'Old' beats out 'Space Jam' and 'Snake Eyes' with $16.5 million debut

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Jul 25, 2021, 1:52 PM EDT

M. Night Shyamalan put the young whipper snappers in their place with the debut of his new movie: Old. The first Shyamalan project to be based on an existing property, the film opened to $16.5 million at the North American box office, effectively beating out Warner Bros. Space Jam: A New Legacy and another fresh offering, Paramount's Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. Old brought in $6.5 million from 23 international territories for a global opening of $23 million.

"It's definitely a respectable performance in this mid-recovery theatrical landscape, and another example of the horror genre's ability to attract audiences with a communal big screen experience," Shawn Robbins, a chief analyst for Boxoffice Pro, tells SYFY WIRE. "It's also notable that 62 percent of this film's audience is reported by the studio to be over the age of 25. The genre typically skews younger, and some over the 25-35 range have been most cautious about returning to cinemas until vaccination rates improve more. All in all, I think this debut is about as strong as could be expected under the circumstances."

"There may be no better sign that we are in what could be considered a 'normal' moviegoing marketplace than the ongoing ups and downs of the box-office, as evidenced by this rather quiet weekend (with $68M) vs. last weekend's $92M overall take," adds Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore. "Of course, it was of no surprise that M. Night Shyamalan's Old topped the chart as his fruitful relationship with Universal continues as the filmmaker grabs his third consecutive number one debut. Though clearly not at the level of Glass and Split (both opened with over $40 million), Old in this still unusual marketplace demonstrated the ongoing drawing power of the director's brand name and signature filmmaking style."

Inspired by the 2013 French graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, the movie takes place on a secluded beach that seems to be a perfect slice of paradise. What starts as a mellow day of relaxation for several families turns into a waking nightmare when the characters realize they're beginning to age at an alarming rate.

"It asks the question 'If you had to live the rest of your life in one day, how would you spend it, and what is important in your life?'" cast member Eliza Scanlen (she plays Kara) recently told SYFY WIRE. "And I guess that's probably some of the questions that have been running through many people's heads at this time. I think that's why I'm drawn to it."

Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Aaron Pierre, Embeth Davidtz, and Emun Elliott co-star in the Universal release.

Paramount Pictures on YouTube

Snake Eyes landed in the second domestic slot with $13.35 million in ticket sales. Internationally, the release brought in $4 million from 37 territories for a worldwide debut of just over $17 million.

The G.I. Joe origin flick stars Henry Golding as a drifter who finds a greater purpose as a ninja once he's welcomed into an ancient clan of warriors by his future enemy, Storm Shadow (Andrew Koji). Flightplan's Robert Schwentke directed the movie, which also features Ursula Corbero, Peter Mensah, Iko Uwais, Haruka Abe, Samara Weaving, Takehiro Hira, and Steven Allerick.

“I hope that it’s two hours of fun, of enjoyment, of something they can escape with, and enjoy and be taken into a different world,” Koji told us. “Because we need more of that. We need some of that. And I hope it can bring some people together.”

Marvel Entertainment on YouTube

Marvel Studios' Black Widow took third place in its third frame with another $11.6 million that boosted its North American cume to a little over $51 million. The comic book feature added $14.5 million from 48 territories abroad for a current global tally of $314.9 million.

After wresting the top spot away from the MCU last weekend, Space Jam: A New Legacy slipped to fourth place with an extra $9.56 million in domestic returns. After two weeks, the long-awaited sequel has accrued $51 million domestically. That's $2 million more than the original Space Jam, which hit $48 million in its sophomore weekend back in 1996. A New Legacy performed a bit better overseas with an additional $12.6 million, boosting its global ticket sales to $94 million.

Universal's F9 rounded out the Top 5 with another $4.7 million domestically. After a month in theaters, the latest Fast Saga adventure has made over $163 million in North America. Thanks to another $11 million internationally, the film has broken $621 million worldwide.

Also in its second weekend, Sony and Columbia's Escape Room: Tournament of Champions landed in sixth place domestically with $3.4 million, bringing its Stateside cume to $16 million. Internationally, the sequel's brought in a total of $8 million for a worldwide performance of $24 million so far.

Other notable mentions include: DreamWorks' The Boss Baby: Family Business ($61 million globally), Universal's The Forever Purge ($57 million globally), A Quiet Place Part II (coming up on $300 million globally), The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ($194 million globally), and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (coming up on $150 million globally).

(SYFY WIRE, DreamWorks Animation & Universal Pictures are both owned by NBCUniversal)