Cinemas and the horrible, horrible, not good, very bad end of summer continues at the box office.
With no major releases on the calendar, Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home — yes, a film that debuted in December 2021 — managed to return to the top spot in North America.
Sony re-released the film with 11 minutes of additional footage, which proved enticing to comic book fans and grossed $6 million from 3,935 theaters over the weekend. “No Way Home” is expected to finish Monday’s Labor Day holiday weekend at $7.6 million.
Another holdover, Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick, is only slightly behind at $5.5 million between Friday and Sunday and an estimated $7 million through Monday. As ticket sales are closed, the final order could change on Monday. In any case, the triumphs of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Top Gun: Maverick underscore the box office desolation, considering that both of these films are ubiquitous in home entertainment.
Even in second place, it’s a heroic weekend for Top Gun: Maverick, playing 3,113 locations in its 15th weekend of release. The blockbuster sequel has grossed $700.33 million to date, making it one of six films to ever cross that threshold domestically. Plus, Tom Cruise’s latest tentpole is just pennies away from dethroning “Black Panther” and becoming the fifth-highest-grossing release in domestic box office history, totaling $700.42 million.
Upon re-release, Spider-Man: No Way Home has grossed $812.3 million in North America, cementing its reputation as the third-highest grossing film in history. Props to Sony for skilfully exploiting the desolate cinema landscape. But it could also have helped any studio actually release a film over the holiday weekend.
In fairness, Focus Features opened a new movie nationwide, but it debuted in streaming day after day, leaving hardly anyone showing up in theaters. “Hoop for Jesus. Save Your Soul, a mega-church satire starring Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown, landed at No. 14 with $1.44 million from 1,882 theaters. NBCUniversal, the studio’s parent company, did not disclose streaming metrics. It is expected to reach $1.75 million by Monday. Luckily for Focus Features, which bought the well-reviewed film for $8.5 million at the Sundance Film Festival, its hybrid release on Peacock will help mitigate the film’s dismal theatrical release.
“The reviews are very good, but the film doesn’t tie together theatrically,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “Over the past two years, films released simultaneously in theaters and via streaming have underperformed at the box office, and that’s part of what’s happening.”
Oddly enough, according to the National Association of Theater Owners, this Saturday was the busiest day of the year. In honor of National Cinema Day on September 3, more than 3,000 theaters across the country, including big chains like AMC and Regal, charged just $3 for admission to a film in any format – far less expensive than the average admission price of the country.
While the heavily discounted prices did increase attendance, it didn’t do much to boost overall ticket sales. In 2021, Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” set a weekend Labor Day record for $94 million. This year, the collective box office total for each film in theaters is nearly $50 million.
“With National Cinema Day, we wanted to do something to celebrate going to the cinema,” said Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation. “This event exceeded our highest 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.”
Rounding out the top five on the box-office charts, given the domestic box-office barrenness, was “Bullet Train”, “DC League of Super-Pets” and “The Invitation”.
Sony’s “Bullet Train” is targeting third place with $5.4 million from 3,117 locations, down just 10% from last weekend. The four-day holiday weekend is expected to bring in $6.8 million. Five weeks after release, the Brad Pitt-directed “Bullet Train” has grossed a solid $86.6 million to date.
There’s also a possibility that Warner Bros.’ DC League of Super-Pets animated feature could take third place. The family film is estimated to have added $5.4 million from 3,115 filming locations and is expected to close out the Labor Day holiday weekend with around $6 million. To date, “DC League of Super-Pets” has earned $80.9 million.
Finally, The Invitation, which topped the box office last weekend, plummeted to fifth place with $4.7 million from 3,114 theaters. Earnings are expected to be $5.7 million through Monday, taking ticket sales to $14.7 million.
There’s more to come…
https://variety.com/2022/film/box-office/box-office-spider-man-rerelease-top-gun-maverick-battle-1235359820/ “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, “Top Gun: Maverick” compete for first place