Maybe you’re like me, and you weren’t invited to a press screening of Blue Beetle last week, and you spent your Saturday at a Post Malone show before spending your Sunday dealing with a hurricane, so you didn’t get a chance to see the latest DC movie over the weekend.
Well, guess what? You’re in luck because this coming Sunday, National Cinema Day returns to more than 3,000 movie theaters across the country, and movie tickets will be less than $4 dollars at participating theaters, including major chains such as AMC and Regal. The discount even applies to IMAX tickets, just in case you’ve been waiting to see Christopher Nolan‘s Oppenheimer on the biggest screen possible.
Non-profit organization the Cinema Foundation is hosting the nationwide event, which is designed to “celebrate the power of movies to bring us all together,” and maybe give theaters a much-needed boost in late August, when there’s usually slim pickings in theaters.
Last year, approximately 8.1 million moviegoers took advantage of National Cinema Day, which, believe it or not, yielded the highest attendance of any day that year, including the opening day of Top Gun: Maverick and other box office hits. Given the added foot traffic, theater owners can expect concession sales to spike as well.
The box office is actually up 16.6 percent this year compared to this time last year, largely thanks to summer hits such as Barbie, Oppenheimer, and Sound of Freedom, though compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, the box office is down 5.4 percent, according to Comscore (via Variety).
“Movies have the power to bring us together to share in the joy, the thrill, and the magic of a great story told on the big screen. National Cinema Day is a celebration of movie fandom and of the uniting role that movie theaters play in our communities,” NATO president/CEO Michael O’Leary said in a statement.
“Following the rousing success of the first annual National Cinema Day, we welcome everyone to join us for the communal experience of one of America’s favorite pastimes — moviegoing. We look forward to gathering at the movies and celebrating an exciting slate of new releases and classics, from beloved family favorites and outrageous comedies to thought-provoking dramas and thrilling adventures. There’s something for everyone,” promised Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation.
Brenneman isn’t wrong, as this week’s new releases include Sony’s surprisingly good racing movie Gran Turismo, MGM’s raunchy comedy Bottoms, and a Golda Meir biopic starring Helen Mirren. Barbie and Oppenheimer are still putting up strong numbers in theaters, while several studios are planning fun re-releases, with Universal’s putting Jurassic Park and The Super Mario Bros. Movie back into theaters for one weekend, and Disney unveiling a sing-along version of The Little Mermaid.
Fandango Ticketing is one of the sponsors behind National Cinema Day, and a consumer survey conducted by Fandango after last year’s event showed that people waited for National Cinema Day’s deeply discounted tickets to catch up with specific summer movies.
I might’ve made it a point to see Blue Beetle this week, but with National Cinema Day approaching, I’ll likely just wait until Sunday to meet the Latino superhero.