September 27, 2023



A $4 ticket promotion has provided a boost to the box office performance of both ‘Blue Beetle’ and ‘Ninja Turtles.’

A $4 ticket promotion has provided a boost to the box office performance of both ‘Blue Beetle’ and ‘Ninja Turtles.’

In celebration of the second annual National Cinema Day, numerous theater owners throughout the United States and Canada reduced their ticket prices to $4.

The outcomes are in for the second annual National Cinema Day.

On Sunday, over 3,000 theaters in the United States and Canada offered moviegoers the opportunity to watch any film in any format for just $4. This represented a significant discount when compared to the average movie ticket price, which stands at least at $10.53 and can be substantially higher in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. Opting for premium large formats like Imax could even set you back $25 or more in some metropolitan areas.

The promotion on August 27th led to 8.5 million individuals heading to the cinemas, marking a 5 percent increase from the 8.1 million participants in last year’s National Cinema Day, which occurred on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. A notable distinction is that tickets were priced at $3 during last year’s event.

According to Comscore, on National Cinema Day, attendees aged 18-24 and 25-34 each constituted 22 percent of the audience, with the next largest age group being 13-17 at 16 percent. Women had slightly higher representation, making up 52 percent of the audience.

The total revenue generated on this year’s National Cinema Day amounted to $34 million, a substantial increase of almost 42 percent compared to the $24 million earned in 2022. This boost was largely attributed to the ticket prices being raised to $4. When comparing to the previous Sunday (Aug. 20), revenue on Sunday saw a 16 percent increase. However, it remains uncertain how the Sunday discount may have impacted attendance on Friday and Saturday.

National Cinema Day was conceived by the Cinema Foundation, a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Association of Theatre Owners. The initiative was led by Jackie Brenneman, who was recently removed from her positions as president of the Cinema Foundation and general counsel of NATO.

In terms of general trends, films that appealed to younger adults or budget-conscious families experienced the most significant revenue increases from Saturday to Sunday. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” and “Blue Beetle” led the way with 37 percent and 32 percent boosts, respectively. The R-rated comedy “Strays” also saw a healthy 25 percent increase.

Regarding box office performance on National Cinema Day, “Barbie” led in terms of grosses with $5.7 million, followed by “Blue Beetle” ($5.5 million), “Gran Turismo” ($4.7 million), “Mutant Mayhem” ($3.3 million), and “Oppenheimer” ($2.7 million). “Barbie” experienced a 6 percent increase from Saturday to Sunday, while “Gran Turismo” saw a 12 percent day-over-day boost. However, “Oppenheimer,” which has a strong presence on Imax screens, experienced a 21 percent decrease day-over-day.

On National Cinema Day, consumers had a variety of choices beyond the regular film lineup, including options like “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and “The Little Mermaid Sing-Along,” as well as re-releases of beloved classics such as “Jurassic Park” in 3D, “American Graffiti,” “Lady Bird,” and “Oldboy.”

Michael O’Leary, who recently took on the role of president-CEO of NATO, remarked, “The enthusiastic response to National Cinema Day serves as a compelling testament to people’s enduring love for the cinema. These statistics affirm the robust future of the movie exhibition industry and the unwavering enthusiasm consumers have for the theatrical experience.”

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Ralph Calaway