On “National Cinema Day”, movie tickets are only $3

NEW YORK (AP) — Saturday’s “National Movie Day” brought the big screen to moviegoers for a small price —…

NEW YORK (AP) — Saturday’s “National Movie Day” brought the big screen to moviegoers for a small price — no more than $3 — as U.S. theaters sought to fill seats during the late-night lull. the summer.

The one-day national promotion was offered on more than 30,000 screens in more than 3,000 theaters, including major chains AMC and Regal Cinemas. The Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, announced the plan Aug. 28 and said all major movie studios are also participating.

Labor Day weekend is traditionally one of the slowest weekends in theaters.

National Movie Day aims to flood theaters with moviegoers and keep them coming back in the fall, inspired by a sizzle reel of upcoming movies from A24, Amazon Studios, Disney, Focus Features, Lionsgate, Neon, Paramount, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony, United Artists Release, Universal and Warner Bros.

After more than two years of the pandemic, movie theaters rebounded significantly over the summer, seeing business return to near pre-pandemic levels. Movies like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Minions: Rise of Gru,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and “Jurassic World Dominion” pushed the summer domestic box office to $3.3 billion. dollars in ticket sales as of August 21. according to data company Comscore.

But that lag from 2019 totals around 20%, as exhibitors had around 30% fewer large-scale releases this year. Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, cited the lack of major new release offerings in confirming recent discussions of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.

National Film Day organizers described the event as a trial that could become an annual fixture. 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 United States.

“After this summer’s record-breaking return to theaters, we wanted to do something to celebrate cinema,” Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation, said in an Aug. 28 statement. “We do this by offering a ‘thank you’ to the moviegoers who made this summer possible and by offering an extra incentive to those who have yet to return.”

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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