“Old” Outlasts Its Competition at Box Office


July 23-25, 2021

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Old $16.5 million
Snake Eyes $13.5 million
Black Widow $11.6 million
Space Jam:
A New Legacy
$9.5 million
F9 $4.7 million

M. Night Shyamalan continued his box office resurgence with Old. The adaptation of a French graphic novel scared up $16.5 million. That marks his third straight No. 1 opening, after Split and its sequel Glass. While that number isn’t astonishing, it’s a strong debut for a movie that had no big stars or name recognition, and was sold solely on the name of a filmmaker who was a laughingstock a decade ago. There are also any number of intangible factors, including surging coronavirus cases and the start of the Olympics. Still, it only cost a reported $18 million.

Despite its recognizable G.I. Joe brand, Snake Eyes debuted with $13.3 million. That’s far lower than past entries The Rise of C.O.B.R.A. and Retaliation. This prequel is firmly in the “Movies No One Asked For” group, though some critics have praised its action scenes. Black Widow dropped to third place. Its returns are certainly a far cry from where we were two years ago with the MCU, but there’s absolutely no reason to hit the panic button.

Space Jam: A New Legacy, meanwhile, suffered a big round 2 loss. Slipping nearly 70 percent, it’s sitting at only $51 million so far. The original made $230 million worldwide. Another Jordan record Lebron won’t break. F9 rounded out the Top 5. It surpassed A Quiet Place Part II to become 2021’s biggest movie. But it will likely fall to Black Widow next week.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend’s Indie Champ: Ailey, a documentary on dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey. Playing on a pair of screens, the Neon-released film earned around $8,000 on each one.
  • Joe Bell may have had its heart in the right place, but the film got poor reviews and had a dismal box office return. Based on the true story of a man who walked cross-country to speak out against bullying after the death of his son, the Mark Wahlberg vehicle opened on more than 1,000 screens but earned a weak $707,185.
  • There’s unlikely to be an even bigger Tournament of Champions some time soon. The Escape Room sequel fell to sixth place and has yet to cross $20 million.

Next week:

It’s the biggest weekend of the year so far, with Jungle Cruise, The Green Knight and Stillwater battling it out. But of course Jungle Cruise will be the No. 1 film with anywhere from $35 to $40 million, with the others earning respectable but unimpressive takes in the $10 to $15 million range.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.