The Tune Squad ruled over the court and box office charts this weekend. In an unexpected win, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which sees LeBron James team up with the animated Looney Tunes crew, dunked on the competition with $31.6 million in ticket sales.

The Warner Bros. sequel to 1996’s “Space Jam” sailed past forecasts, which projected the film would bring in $20 million in its first three days of release. Critics rebuffed “Space Jam: A New Legacy” (it holds a bleak 31% average on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences appeared to embrace the movie, awarding it an “A-” CinemaScore. “Space Jam 2” played in 3,965 cinemas in North America, while being available on HBO Max at no extra charge to subscribers.

“The marketing on this movie really looked fun, and it helped alert audiences everywhere,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution.

The better-than-expected start for “Space Jam 2” pushed last weekend’s champion, Disney and Marvel’s “Black Widow,” to second place on box office charts. The superhero adventure, starring Scarlett Johansson, brought in $26.3 million in its second weekend, representing a steep 67% decline from inaugural sales. So far, “Black Widow” has generated $131 million in North America and $264 million globally. Though impressive by pandemic standards, that’s a potentially catastrophic result for a $200 million-budgeted Marvel tentpole. It’s unlikely that digital rentals on Disney Plus, where “Black Widow” is available to subscribers for $30, will offset any theatrical losses. Disney reported last Sunday that “Black Widow” generated $60 million on Disney Plus, but the studio declined to update that figure into its second weekend of release. Compounding matters, the comic book adaptation still doesn’t have a release date in China, which is a vital moviegoing market for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Despite concerns over the Delta variant and its hybrid release on HBO Max, Warner Bros. reported that “Space Jam: A New Legacy” landed the largest debut for a family film during COVID. Earlier in the pandemic, movies geared toward younger audiences — such as “The Croods: A New Age” and “Tom and Jerry” — had been the biggest moneymakers. But summer offerings like “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” and “Spirit Untamed” had each fallen flat with family crowds. “Space Jam 2” is the first family film in some time to entice moviegoers with kids. Among ticket buyers, 53% were male and 52% were under the age of 25.

“This weekend is a positive indication that the family audience is alive, well and, according to ‘Space Jam 2’s’ enthusiastic audience scores, still thrilled by the big screen,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research.

At the international box office, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” collected $23 million from 64 overseas markets, bringing its global total to $54.6 million. The follow-up film cost $150 million to make, which means the latest “Space Jam” needs to sell tickets, and a lot of them, to turn a profit. However, in the case of Warner Bros., box office ticket sales aren’t its only metric of success. The studio’s parent company WarnerMedia is hoping that putting “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” and the rest of its 2021 slate, simultaneously on streaming and in theaters will incentivize people to sign up for a subscription to HBO Max.

In a distant third place, Sony’s “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” opened nationwide and earned $8.8 million from 2,815 locations. Those ticket sales were on par with industry expectations, but its three-day debut marks a steep decline from its predecessor, 2019’s “Escape Room,” which launched to $18 million and ended its box office run with $57 million. Overseas, the PG-13 film amassed $3.4 million from 18 markets, boosting its international tally to $4.5 million. The sequel cost $15 million to produce, an increase from the first film’s $9 million price tag.

At No. 4, Universal’s “Fast and Furious” sequel “F9” pulled in $7.6 million in its fourth weekend of release, bringing its overall domestic tally to $154 million. The action tentpole is poised to cross the $600 million mark imminently, with worldwide revenues currently at $591 million. Another Universal title, “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” rounded out the top five, generating $4.7 million over the weekend. In total, the animated sequel to 2017’s “Boss Baby” has made $44 million after three weeks in theaters. It’s also playing simultaneously on the nascent streaming service Peacock.

Among specialty releases, the Focus Features documentary “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” bowed in 925 theaters and grossed $1.9 million, averaging a sizable $2,050 per location. That haul, enough to rank in eighth place on box office charts, stands as the best start of the year for an indie movie, as well as the top opening for a documentary in 2021.

“Roadrunner” sparked mild controversy on social media after director Morgan Neville (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”) revealed that three lines in the movie delivered by the late Bourdain, who died by suicide in 2018, were generated by AI. However, it didn’t appear to impact reception for the film, which holds a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. Following its exclusive run on the big screen, “Roadrunner” will air on CNN and stream on HBO Max at a later date.

“To be the top specialty film opening of the year and the highest of Morgan’s illustrious career, it’s truly a thrill for us all at Focus and a testament to the legacy Bourdain created,” says Focus Features president of distribution Lisa Bunnell. “We’re hopeful that it will have a great run throughout the summer and a positive sign we’re moving back towards normalcy for our business and our partners in exhibition.”

At the No. 10 spot, Neon’s thriller “Pig,” starring Nicholas Cage, secured $954,000 from 552 venues (for a $1,712 per-screen average). Cage’s performance as a truffle forager whose beloved pig goes missing has earned the actor some of his best reviews in years. “Less revenge thriller than intimate character study, ‘Pig’ is above all else a reminder that Cage is among the most gifted, fearless actors working today,” critic Michael Nordine wrote in his review for Variety.