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Box Office: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Beats ‘Spider-Man’ to Win Slow Labor Day With $7.9M as Tickets Slashed to $3 – Hollywood Reporter

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More than 8 million consumers took part in the one-day discount on Sept. 3, making it the single-best day of 2022 in terms of admissions. And in another milestone for ‘Top Gun: Gun Maverick,’ the pic crosses $700 million domestically to overtake ‘Black Panther.’
By Pamela McClintock
Senior Film Writer
Movie theaters across the country served up plenty of popcorn and soda on Saturday as the industry slashed tickets to a mere $3 in a one-day promotion to honor National Cinema Day. Without any new big movies on the Labor Day marquee, there wasn’t much to lose for Hollywood studios.
The discount paid off as more than 8 million consumers went to the movies — the highest-attended day of the year — compared to only 1 million the day before and 1.7 million on Sunday. But the box office overall still struggled as holiday revenue came in at an estimated $68 million, which ranks far down on the list of top-grossing Labor Day weekends.

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The biggest beneficiary of the discounted pricing was Top Gun: Maverick, which soared past Sony’s rerelease of Spider-Man: No Way Home to top the chart with a four-day gross of $7.9 million, including $6 million for the three-day weekend, according to Comscore’s Monday estimates.
That’s one of the lowest grosses in recent decades for a film topping the Labor Day chart, but a great result for a movie that’s in its 15th weekend and has earned more than $1.4 billion globally. In fact, it is the first time that a film has ever been No. 1 on Memorial Day and Labor Day. And better yet, the Tom Cruise blockbuster has zoomed past the $700 million mark domestically to overtake Black Panther and become the fifth top-grossing film of all time with a cume of $701.2 million).
On Sunday, Sony had claimed victory for the long Labor Day holiday, putting Spider-Man‘s gross for the three days at $6 million and $7.6 million for the four million. Instead, No Way Home — which has earned a massive $1.9 billion globally, including more than $800 domestically — came in at $5.4 million for the three days and $6.6 million for the four, putting it at No. 3 behind Top Gun 2 and fellow Sony pic Bullet Train, which grossed $5.7 million for the three days and $7.3 million for the four.
Paramount’s Sunday estimates had showed Top Gun 2 earning an estimated $5.5 million for the three days and $7 million for the four days.
But normal modeling for the full holiday weekend wasn’t reliable because of the $3 Saturday, meaning the order of films could change once final weekend numbers were tallied, which is what happened.
The dramatic Labor Day ticket discount capped a mostly promising summer season for exhibitors and Hollywood studios as they emerge from the pandemic. The May-July corridor was a huge boom, led by Top Gun 2 and other tentpoles including Jurassic World Dominion, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Minions: The Rise of Gru and Thor: Love and Thunder. Midrange and smaller movies worked as well, from Elvis to the indie darling Everything Everywhere All at Once.

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Summer revenue stands at an estimated $3.4 billion, according to Comscore. That’s up more than 94 percent from 2021, but down more than 21 percent from 2019.
August, however, brought a drought of product due to supply chain issues, which explains why the Labor Day weekend was topped by a pair of movies that have been in the marketplace for months.
Another rerelease over Labor Day weekend that impressed was Steven Spielberg’s iconic summer pic Jaws, which was offered in 3D or Imax. The pic, playing in 1,246 theaters, earned an estimated $2.6 million for the three-day weekend and $3.3 million for the four, good enough to come in No. 8. (As one rival distributor noted, “not too shabby for a film that is 47 years old).
Jaws placed ahead of the new specialty film, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. The Focus Features release, playing in 1,882 locations, earned an estimated $1.4 million for the three days and $1.7 million for the four.
Roadside Attractions released specialty pic Gigi & Nate in 1,184 theaters. The film is expected to earn roughly $1.3 million for the four days.
Not surprisingly, Saturday was the biggest day of Labor Day weekend. Family films, led by Warner Bros.’ DC League of Super-Pets, did especially well as parents and kids look for ways to cope with the searing heatwave in the West (that applied to all consumers, actually).
DC League of Super-Pets earned an estimated $5 million for the three days and $6.4 million for the four days to place No. 4. The family film has grossed $81.7 million domestically and $78.7 million overseas for a worldwide cume of $160.4 million.

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Sony’s horror pic The Invitation rounded out the top five with $4.9 million for the three days and $6 million for the four for a 10-day domestic total of $15 million.
National Cinema Day was the brainchild of the new Cinema Foundation, which is affiliated with the National Association of Theatre Owners and a host of other companies. The $3 promotion was intended to celebrate the rebound at the summer box office, as well as moviegoing in general. NATO hasn’t released an updated average ticket price since 2019 — when it was $9.16 — but data and analytic firm EntTelligence says it is north of $12.
“This event outstripped our biggest expectations,” Cinema Foundation president Jackie Brenneman said. “The idea of the day was to thank moviegoers for an amazing summer, and now we have to thank them for this amazing day.”
Grosses will be updated again on Tuesday when final Labor Day weekend numbers are tallied.
This story first published on Sept. 4 at 9:34 a.m.
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