Space Jam: A New Legacy Movie Release Date.
Space Jam: A New Legacy, the LeBron James-directed family comedy that serves as a follow-up to the Michael Jordan-starring original, will go straight to video-on-demand in India, even though theaters are now open in most parts of the country. That’s a first for any Hollywood studio in India; the one directed by Scarlett Johansson Black widow it’s set to do the same, but it has yet to adorn Disney + Hotstar. For Warner Bros., Space Jam: A New Legacy is technically the third Warner Bros. film to skip theaters during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Previously, Angelina Jolie-directed neo-Western action thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead, and the critically acclaimed adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights, did, but theaters were largely closed in back then.
Warner Bros.’ The launch strategy during COVID-19 remains curious. Space Jam: A New Legacy will be available Thursday, August 19 on Apple TV, BookMyShow Stream, Google Play Movies, and YouTube Movies. What happens five weeks from its release on HBO Max in the US and in theaters globally. With The Who Wish Me Dead, Warner Bros. India waited four weeks before submitting the title directly to the video on demand. And the gap was seven weeks for In the Heights. There’s no consistency here, so it’s unclear how Warner decides when the time is right. What stopped the studio from releasing Space Jam: A New Legacy a week or two earlier? Or online with HBO Max?
Perhaps you once had theatrical ambitions for Space Jam: A New Legacy. After all, it is an IMAX title. However, so was In the Heights, and it skipped theaters anyway. Additionally, the box office potential of the Space Jam sequel was limited by the time it aired on HBO Max, allowing high-quality pirated copies to flood the internet in less than an hour after its mid-July premiere. Space Jam: A New Legacy would certainly have done more with its on-demand release if Warner had brought it to India at the time. Those who really wanted to see LeBron James and Looney Tunes play basketball probably have already done so, further limiting the earning potential of a movie that has given up box office money.
For what it’s worth, Warner Bros. is doing better here than other Hollywood studios. Paramount Pictures / Viacom18 Studios continue to keep A Quiet Place Part II, starring Emily Blunt, even as it is now available to stream on Paramount + in the US It might well rule out the India box office at this point. Disney has given up the box office entirely for the Black widow and the one directed by Emma Stone CruellaAs both are coming to Disney + Hotstar, and it’s unclear what he’ll do with the Dwayne Johnson and Blunt-led Jungle Cruise. Universal Pictures is being the most reckless, taking its films, from Fast & Furious 9 to Promising Young Woman, only to the big screen, even though they are several months old.
There are still opportunities here for the studios to show that they really care about Indian viewers, as I have argued above, but they don’t seem interested in moving faster.