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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ battle for top spot

The theaters and the terrible, horrible, not good, very bad end of summer continues at the box office.

Without any major release on the schedule, Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ – yes, a movie that debuted in December 2021 – managed to return to the top spot in North America over the weekend of Labor Day.

Sony re-released the film with an additional 11 minutes of footage that proved tantalizing to comic book fans, grossing $6 million from 3,935 theaters over the weekend. “No Way Home” is set to end the extended holiday weekend on Monday with $7.6 million.

Another holdover, Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” trails very slightly with $5.5 million between Friday and Sunday and around $7 million through Monday. With ticket sales closed, the final order may change on Monday. Either way, the triumph of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Top Gun: Maverick” highlights the sluggishness at the box office given that those two films are widely available on home entertainment.

Even in second place, it’s been a heroic weekend for “Top Gun: Maverick,” which plays in 3,113 theaters in its 15th weekend of release. The hit sequel has grossed $700.33 million to date, making it one of six films to cross that threshold domestically. It also puts Tom Cruise’s latest tentpole within pennies of dethroning “Black Panther” and its $700.42 million total as the fifth highest-grossing release in domestic box office history.

With the re-release, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” grossed $812.3 million in North America, cementing its position as the third-highest-grossing film in history. Kudos to Sony for cleverly taking advantage of the desolate landscape of cinema. But it also could have helped any studio to, you know, release a movie over the holiday weekend.

In fairness, Focus Features opened a new movie nationwide, but it debuted day and night on streaming, so hardly anyone showed up in theaters. “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul,” a megachurch satire starring Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown, crashed to No. 14 with $1.44 million from 1,882 theaters. NBCUniversal, The studio’s parent company, didn’t reveal streaming metrics. It’s expected to hit $1.75 million by Monday. Luckily for Focus Features, which picked up the well-reviewed film from the Sundance Film Festival for $8.5 million, its hybrid release on Peacock will help ease the film’s sad theatrical run.

“The reviews are very good, but the film is not connecting in theaters,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “Over the past couple of years, movies released simultaneously in theaters and on streaming have underperformed at the box office, and that’s part of what’s happening.”

Funnily enough, since the two top movies in the country were months old, this Saturday was the busiest day of the year according to the National Association of Theater Owners. Indeed, September 3 was National Movie Day, which drew an estimated 8.1 million people as more than 3,000 theaters across the country slashed ticket prices. Attendees, including major chains like AMC and Regal, charged just $3 for admission to any movie in any format — far cheaper than the average ticket price nationwide.

The heavily discounted prices may have boosted attendance (and popcorn sales), but it did little to boost overall revenue over the traditionally slow Labor Day weekend. In 2021, Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” set a Labor Day weekend record with $94 million. This year, the collective box office tally for each movie in theaters is closer to $50 million. Of course, it’s harder than usual to compare because of Saturday’s markdown.

“With National Cinema Day, we wanted to do something to celebrate cinema,” said Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation. “This event exceeded our greatest expectations. The idea of ​​the day was to thank moviegoers for an amazing summer, and now we have to thank them for an amazing day.

Given the domestic box office slump, leftovers “Bullet Train,” “DC League of Super-Pets,” and “The Invitation” round out the top five on the box office charts.

Sony’s “Bullet Train” is targeting third place with $5.4 million from 3,117 locations, down just 10% from last weekend. For the four-day holiday weekend, it’s expected to gross $6.8 million. After five weeks of release, the Brad Pitt-directed “Bullet Train” has grossed a solid $86.6 million to date.

There’s also a chance that the “DC League of Super-Pets” hosted by Warner Bros. can take third place. The family film is estimated to have added $5.4 million from 3,115 locations and is looking to close Labor Day weekend with around $6 million. So far, “DC League of Super-Pets” has earned $80.9 million.

And finally, “The Invitation,” which topped the box office last weekend, dropped to fifth place with $4.7 million from 3,114 theaters. By Monday, it is expected to gross $5.7 million, bringing ticket sales to $14.7 million.