‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is the first movie to top both Memorial Day and Labor Day box office

Tom Cruise leans into a fighter jet cockpit.
Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the movie “Top Gun: Maverick.”
(Scott Garfield / Paramount Pictures)

“Top Gun: Maverick” and “Bullet Train” leapfrogged “Spider-Man: No Way Home” to top the box office chart during a holiday weekend when U.S. theaters aimed to lure moviegoers with discounted $3 tickets. The “Top Gun” sequel, in its 15th week of release, becomes the first movie ever to be No. 1 at the domestic box office for both Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays. “Spider-Man” led early estimates for the weekend almost nine months after its December 2021 release.

The first National Cinema Day promotion became the highest-attended day of the year, drawing an estimated 8.1 million moviegoers on Saturday, according to the Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the National Assn. of Theater Owners. The one-day event — offered on more than 30,000 screens and held in more than 3,000 theaters, including major chains AMC and Regal Cinemas — collected preliminary box office returns of $24.3 million, according to data firm Comscore.

National Cinema Day was intended to flood theaters with moviegoers during Labor Day weekend, traditionally one of the industry’s slowest periods. The initiative looked to prompt people to return to theaters in the fall, inspired by a sizzle reel of the upcoming films from major distributors including Disney, Lionsgate, Sony and A24.

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“This event outstripped our biggest expectations,” said Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation, in a statement. “The idea of 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 U.S. Organizers of National Cinema Day said the event could become an annual fixture.

“This proves that people love going to the theaters,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “Pricing is always a consideration.”

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“Top Gun: Maverick” tallied an estimated $7.9 million Friday through Monday, surging past the $700 million mark at the domestic box office. “Bullet Train” pulled in $7.3 million, the re-release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” starring Tom Holland and Zendaya, brought in an estimated $6.6 million, “Super Pets” garnered $6.4 million and last week’s top earner, “The Invitation,” grossed $6 million to round out the top five.

The re-release of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic “Jaws,” on big screens for the first time in 3-D, earned $3.3 million. Focus Features’ “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.” topped the new releases, finishing outside the top 10 with a four-day estimate of $1.75 million.

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The following are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Monday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. The year-to-date box office is up 150% over 2021.

1. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $7.9 million

2. “Bullet Train,” $7.3 million

3. “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” $6.6 million

4. “DC League of Super Pets,” $6.4 million

5. “The Invitation,” $6 million

6. “Beast,” $4.9 million

7. “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” $4.5 million

8. “Jaws” (1975), $3.3 million

9. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” $3.2 million

10. “Where the Crawdads Sing” $2.7 million