Top Gun: Maverick And Spider-Man: No Way Home Slugged It Out At The Box Office This Weekend, But There Was Some Confusion Over Which Movie Did Better

Tom Holland looking worried in the lab in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Tom Cruise grinning with confidence in the briefing room in Top Gun: Maverick, pictured side by side.
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures)

Holiday weekends, like our current Labor Day celebration, always lead to some interesting results with the final tally. This year, the fight for the first September weekend at the box office involved the 2022 movie release Top Gun: Maverick and the returning theatrical delight of Spider-Man: No Way Home. It’s a matchup that led to some confusion over which film did better, even if the result was weaker than anyone would have anticipated. 

As Deadline kept track of where these two would-be titans placed throughout the weekend, the results looked close. There was even talk of the “More Fun Stuff Version” of Spider-Man’s latest solo effort bringing in $7.6 mil for the weekend, thanks to Sunday morning's estimates. This morning’s projections brought it all back to reality, as Top Gun: Maverick was estimated at bringing in the lead, with $7.9 million across four days. Spider-Man: No Way Home, on the other hand, fell to third place behind Bullet Train, with $6.5 million estimated as banked for the Marvel/Sony effort.

To be fair, Paramount wasn’t even sure it was the winner of the weekend either, as Maverick was estimated to have brought merely $7 million yesterday morning. In either case, what probably helped keep things interesting is the fact that Saturday was National Cinema Day, which saw $3 tickets being offered to any movie/format at participating locations. According to the reporting cited above, it still wasn’t enough to pull Labor Day weekend out of the slump that has it named as the lowest grossing weekend of summer 2022.

It’s a result that feels more traditional than last year’s big ticket opening for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. As such, the practice of bringing back older films for another bite at the apple is just as comfortable. However, there are two big differences when it comes to this year’s Labor Day competition which reaffirm what we’ve seen as a result. 

First, Top Gun: Maverick isn’t a traditional bring-back, per se. As the movie has dominated the summer theatrical landscape since it was first released on Memorial Day weekend, Tom Cruise’s legacy-quel never really left. Strangely enough, Maverick could be seen as the Shang-Chi of Memorial Day, as Cruise’s personal best opening conquered another infamous slumping period we’ve seen at the box office in modern times. 

Which leads us to the actual bring-back of Labor Day 2022: Spider-Man: No Way Home, which theatrically released a cut that was being advertised by the likes of Andrew Garfield on social media. That doesn’t seem to have been enough to win over all fans of Marvel for another spin of the web. Third place still isn’t a bad showing considering director Jon Watts’ trilogy-closing film was theatrically released in December 2021, and has been available as home entertainment since this past April.

Labor Day’s box office totals didn’t set the world on fire, for sure. However, there was enough fight in Tom Cruise and Tom Holland alike that both put on a hell of a show. Maybe this is a sign that Kevin Feige may want to pursue making past rumors of Cruise’s MCU participation as a multiversal Tony Stark into a reality. In the meantime, you can prepare for Top Gun: Maverick’s eventual streaming release, as signing up to be a Paramount+ subscriber will grant you access to its 1986 predecessor, on top of this platform being the future home of Maverick’s next chapter. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.