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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” has swung back on top of the box office during a holiday weekend where American theaters aimed to lure moviegoers with discounted $3 tickets.
The first “National Cinema Day” nationwide promotion became the highest-attended day of the year, drawing an estimated 8.1 million moviegoers on Saturday, according to The Cinema Foundation.
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 a Labor Day weekend, which is traditionally one of the slowest weekends in the industry. The promotion looked to prompt people to return in the fall, inspired by a sizzle reel of the upcoming films from major studios including Disney, Lionsgate, Sony, and A24.
“This event outstripped our biggest expectations,” said Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, 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. Still, Saturday’s promotion was the first of its kind on such a large scale in the U.S. Organizers of the 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.”
The top three performing movie titles for 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 top draw was “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which recaptured the No. 1 box office spot for the weekend.
With never-seen footage, the re-release of the Sony and Marvel blockbuster superhero film starring Tom Holland and Zendaya brought in an estimated $6 million. “Top Gun” followed with $5.5 million, “Super Pets” garnered $5.45 million, “Bullet Train” pulled in $5.4 million, and last week’s top earner “The Invitation” grossed $4.7 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 IMAX and 3D, nabbed the final spot among the weekend’s top 10 performers.
Here are the stimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore.
- “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” $6 million.
- “Top Gun: Maverick,” $5.5 million.
- “DC League of Super Pets,” $5.45 million.
- “Bullet Train,” $5.4 million.
- “The Invitation,” $4.7 million.
- “Beast,” $3.6 million.
- “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” $3.1 million.
- “Thor: Love and Thunder,” $2.4 million.
- “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero,” $2.4 million.
- “Jaws” (1975), $2.3 million.
Jane Fonda said on social media Friday that she has cancer.
“So, my dear friends, I have something personal I want to share. I’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and have started chemo treatments,” the 84-year-old actor wrote in an Instagram post.
“This is a very treatable cancer,” she added, “so I feel very lucky.”
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that begins in the white blood cells and affects parts of the body’s immune system.
Fonda acknowledged that unlike many, she is privileged to have insurance and access to the best doctors and care.
“Almost every family in America has had to deal with cancer at one time or another and far too many don’t have access to the quality health care I am receiving and this is not right,” she said.
Fonda said she has begun a six-month course of chemotherapy, is handling the treatments well, and will not let it interfere with her climate activism.
Fonda has dealt with cancer before. She had a tumor removed from her breast in 2010 and has also had skin cancer.
Part of a legendary Hollywood family, Fonda gained fame for both her acting and her activism starting in the late 1960s.
She won Oscars for her performances in 1971’s “Klute” and 1978’s “Coming Home.”
She has also starred in the films “Barbarella” and “9 to 5,” and in the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie.”
Brendan Fraser is having a moment at the Venice International Film Festival. The once ubiquitous movie star of “The Mummy” franchise and “George of the Jungle” had, in the last decade, backed away from the spotlight. But Fraser is charting what could be a major comeback starting with his transformative role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which had its world premiere Sunday night at the festival.
In the film, Fraser plays Charlie, a reclusive English teacher with a kind soul who weighs 600 pounds. It already has pundits predicting Oscar nominations, but Fraser said he is just “trying to stay in today.”