Spidey tops box office as Cinema Day pulls in millions

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LOS ANGELES — “Spider-Man: No Way Home” returned to the top of the box office on a holiday weekend when US theaters aimed to lure moviegoers with discounted $3 tickets.

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The first nationwide “National Cinema Day” promotion appeared to work with the busiest day of the year, drawing an estimated 8.1 million moviegoers on Saturday, according to The Cinema Foundation. The one-day event – ​​shown on more than 30,000 screens and held in more than 3,000 theaters, including major chains AMC and Regal Cinemas – has garnered preliminary box office receipts of $24.3 million , according to the Comscore.

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National Movie Day aimed to flood theaters with moviegoers over a Labor Day weekend, which is traditionally one of the slowest weekends in the industry. The promotion aimed to keep people coming back in the fall, inspired by a sizzle reel of upcoming films from major studios including Disney, Lionsgate, Sony and A24.

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“This event exceeded our greatest expectations,” Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, said in a statement. “The idea for the day was to thank moviegoers for an amazing summer, and now we have to thank them for an amazing day.”

Some other countries have experimented with a similar day of cheap movie tickets, but Saturday’s promotion was the first of its kind on such a large scale in the United States. National Cinema Day organizers said the event could become an annual fixture.

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“It proves that people love going to the theater,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for data firm Comscore. “Price is always a consideration.”

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The three top-performing movie titles of the day included Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” The Rock and Kevin Hart’s “DC League of Super Pets,” and Brad Pitt’s “Bullet Train.” Another draw was “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which reclaimed the top spot at the box office for the weekend.

With never-before-seen footage, the re-release of the hit Sony and Marvel superhero film starring Tom Holland and Zendaya has grossed an estimated $6 million. “Top Gun” followed with $5.5 million, “Super Pets” took in $5.45 million, “Bullet Train” took in $5.4 million and “The Invitation” the biggest winner of last week grossed $4.7 million to round out the top five.

The re-release of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic “Jaws,” on the big screen for the first time in 3D, landed the final spot among the top 10 performers of the weekend.

Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.

1. “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” $6 million.

2. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $5.5 million.

3. “DC League of Super Pets,” $5.45 million.

4. “Bullet Train,” $5.4 million.

5. “The Invitation,” $4.7 million.

6. “Beast,” $3.6 million.

7. “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” $3.1 million.

8. ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’, $2.4 million.

9. ‘Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes’, $2.4 million.

10. “Jaws” (1975), $2.3 million.


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