After a record-breaking year in 2021, when Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings scored $75.3 million over the 3-day weekend for a 4-day total of $94.6 million, you’d think studios would see Labor Day weekend as a viable time to release something worth watching. This is a time where I wonder if Disney had released the underperformer light years, could it have pulled the numbers they expected with less summer competition?
It’s still a strange time at the box office, and theaters are still figuring out how to navigate the new theatrical world at a time after a pandemic nearly shut them down for good. With Cineworld, the owner of Regal Theaters is approaching bankruptcyis the fate of one of the largest theater chains in the world up in the air.
So let’s get down to the numbers: Marvel has once again taken control of the holiday weekend by re-releasing Spider-Man: No Way Home, this time with 11 more minutes and dubs it The More Fun Version. With $6 million, the third-highest-grossing domestic release of all time was able to easily secure the top spot for the first time since the weekend of 28 January 2022.
It’s rare for a reissue to top the charts, but not unheard of. In 2011, Disney re-released their animated juggernaut Lions King in 3D, where it topped the charts for two consecutive weeks 17 years after its initial release.
Coming in second place is Top Gun: Maverick. After becoming one of the best selling of all-time digital releases during the first week of release, the biggest release of 2022 was actually able to open up theatrical eyes and pull in $5.5 million over the 3-day weekend. There’s no doubt that when the numbers are released for the full holiday weekend, Maverick will have ticked past the elusive $700 Million mark at the domestic box office, becoming only the sixth film ever to do so.
With the first-ever National Movie Day proving to be a wild card for this weekend’s box office, it looks like families took full advantage of those $3 tickets and brought the whole family to see DC’s League of Super Pets, giving it a 32% bump from last weekend with a healthy $5.45 million for third place this weekend.
When the final numbers are released for the holiday weekend, Brad Pitt Bullet Train could overtake League of Super Pets for third place as its weekend cap is said to be just $500,000 left for League’s weekend. The David Leitch-directed actioner has seen tremendous week-to-week is holding and slowly making its way to the $100 million domestic mark (with another $100 million from international markets.) Bullet Train proves that a solid release date can be key to a film’s success. Bullet Train opened a month ago and has never fallen out of the Top 4, which is an impressive feat in today’s opening weekend dominated world.
With an opening weekend of just $6.8 million last week, The invitation actually had a decent hold in its second weekend, losing just 31% of its audience with $4.7 million. I thought the C Cinemascore would see this completely plummet in its second week, but maybe $3 tickets were the key to success, especially for a horror movie.
Places six through nine consisted of holdovers Beast with $3.6 million, Minions: The Rise of Gru with $3.1 million, Thor: Love and Thunder with $2.4 million and Dragon Ball Super; Super Hero with $2.4 million.
Rounding out the top ten was another reissue, this one from a little further back than Spider Man: the 1975s Jaws which was released on over 1000 Imax and Real D 3D screens and was able to secure $2.3 million for the weekend for a running 46-year domestic total of $266.2 million.
New release Honk For Jesus, Save Your Soul was outside the top ten, finishing with just $1.44 million for the weekend. There is no doubt that its simultaneous release on Peacock undermines its box office potential.
So the real wild card of the weekend was the first ever National Cinema Day with $3 tickets on Saturday. Judging by the numbers, it looks like the day actually worked in terms of getting people out to see some of those summer vacations that they hadn’t yet had a chance to check out, with several movies seeing an increase in gross prices from week to week. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a Labor Day weekend tradition going forward. Of course, if it does, would any studio risk a new release on the market that could potentially be undercut with $3 tickets?
Did any of you venture into theaters on National Cinema Day? Have you noticed a busier lobby than usual? Did you take the extra cash and enjoy some nice cinema treats? Tell us in the comments! And don’t forget to check out ours vote and tell us which movie you’d love to see re-released in theaters.