Blockbuster Movie Ditches Theaters Early, Has Dropped on Streaming

By Tristan Zelden | 3 weeks ago

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Getting a dose of nostalgia is common now as the film industry reboots, remakes, or gives sequels to classics from decades ago. Space Jam 2 is one of the most recent examples to jump on the bandwagon, giving the fans of the cult classic ’90s flick a throwback with some modern twists. Space Jam: A New Legacy hit theaters back on July 16, but now you can watch it at home today.

Initially, Space Jam 2 was planned to come out to theaters and be on HBO Max for subscribers of the service for 31 days. It would have been taken off the platform after that timeframe until the end of its theatrical run. The streaming service has two levels, with one at $9.99 with ads and an ad-free version for $14.99. The latter was the required tier to watch the movie, but now that is no longer the case.

For DVD and Blu-ray collectors, you have to wait longer. Space Jam 2 is available physically on October 5. There will be a 4K UHD ($49.99) and Blu-ray ($39.99) packs that include deleted scenes and other special features. The regular DVD will only have the deleted scenes and will cost $34.99.

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If you prefer to own things digitally, you will not have long to wait for Space Jam 2. Premium Digital Ownership is available on September 3 for $29.99 and 48-hour rental for $24.99.

Space Jam 2 takes a new twist on the original story with basketball legend LeBron James, as the first focused on Michael Jordan. The player is joined by an all-star cast with Don Cheadle (Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame), Khris Davis (Judas and the Black Messiah), Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead), and Zendaya (Euphoria). It also has cameos from Steven Yeun (Minari), Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It Ralph), Lil Rel Howery (Free Guy), Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther), and Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty).

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While Space Jam 2 was directed by Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip), the 1996 movie was directed by Joe Pytka, who has only directed commercials, shorts, and documentaries with one other feature-length movie, Let It Ride, in 1989. Like its successor, it was not seen as a critical hit with poor reviews, but it had garnered a cult status from fans. Although the first film was a commercial success with $250 million in the box office from an $80 million budget, it took this long to get a sequel for long-time fans.

During the pandemic, Warner Bros. has been quick to let its slate of movies come to streaming, whether that is a duel release for theatrical and streaming or let it be only streaming. Space Jam 2 is another one of those cases, but the latest bit of news is possibly due to the film’s poor box office performance of $148 million out of its approximate $150 million budget. Few blockbusters have made a profit in the past year, and the industry has stumbled with various attempts to adapt to the new circumstances caused by COVID-19.