National Cinema Day Brings Record Crowds and $34 Million at the Box Office

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National Cinema Day Brings Record Crowds and $34 Million at the Box Office
Via Syracuse

National Cinema Day, the annual event that offers discounted $3 movie tickets at theaters nationwide, drew record crowds this weekend and collected an estimated $34 million at the domestic box office.

Held on Saturday, September 3rd, the one-day promotion saw nearly 8.5 million moviegoers turn out to local cinemas according to data from the National Cinema Foundation, which oversees the annual event. This marks a 5% increase from the 8.1 million attendees during the inaugural National Cinema Day in 2021.

The robust turnout translated to an even larger box office haul, with an estimated $34 million in ticket sales across over 3,000 participating theater locations. This is a significant jump from the $24 million grossed during last year’s promotion. According to figures from ComScore, the box office saw a 16% spike compared to the previous weekend.

Cinema owners were thrilled with the results. “The positive response to National Cinema Day is just another reminder of how much people love going to the movie theater,” said Michael O’Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, in a statement provided to USA TODAY.

Exhibitor Relations Co., a box office tracking firm, echoed this sentiment in a tweet, saying National Cinema Day was “a huge success” and drove the best Saturday performance of the year for IMAX screens.

Popular titles that enjoyed bumps in attendance on September 3rd included summer hits like “Top Gun: Maverick”, “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero”, and “Bullet Train”. New mid-budget releases such as “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”, “After Ever Happy”, and “Devotion” also benefited from capacity crowds.

The positive word-of-mouth and social media activity surrounding National Cinema Day is sure to have provided a boost of promoting for these and other films. On Twitter, #NationalCinemaDay was widely shared as many posted pictures of sold-out screens and long concession lines.

Bryan Braunlich, executive director of the Cinema Foundation, said in a statement, “Movie theaters and all our partners helped maximize the impact of the day with creative marketing and special promotions that added to the overall excitement.” He continued, “A diverse slate of exciting films provided something for everyone to see.”

With strong support from exhibition partners, discounted ticket promotions like National Cinema Day are achieving the Cinema Foundation’s goal of reminding audiences how much fun the shared big screen experience can be. Based on this record-setting 2022 edition, it seems clear that when given an affordable night out, moviegoers will continue to show up in force to theaters nationwide.

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