On Saturday, National Movie Day, moviegoers got to the big screen for a small price (no more than $3) while US theaters tried to fill their seats during the summer break.
The one-day nationwide promotion was offered on more than 30,000 screens in more than 3,000 cinemas, including major AMC and Regal Cinemas chains.
The Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, announced the plan Aug. 28, saying all major film studios and would participate.
Labor Day weekend is traditionally one of the slower weekends in theaters.
National Film Day aims to flood theaters with moviegoers and encourage them to come back in the fall inspired by a sizzling reel of upcoming films from A24, Amazon Studios, Disney, Focus Features, Lionsgate, Neon, Paramount, Sony Pictures Classics , Sony, United Artists Releasing, Universal and Warner Bros.
After more than two years of the pandemic, theaters rebounded significantly over the summer and business almost returned to pre-pandemic levels. Movies like Top Gun: Maverick, Minions: Rise of Gru, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Jurassic World Dominion brought the domestic summer box office to $3.3 billion through August 21 dollars in ticket sales, according to data company Comscore.
But that’s about 20% down on the 2019 totals, as exhibitors had about 30 broader releases that year file.
National Film Day organizers described the event as a test that could become an annual event. While other countries have experimented with a similar day of cheap movie tickets, the initiative is the first of its kind on such a large scale in the US.
“Following the unprecedented return to theaters this summer, we wanted to do something to celebrate going to the cinema,” Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation, said in an Aug. 28 statement you’ to the moviegoers who made this summer possible, and offers an added incentive for those who haven’t returned yet.