ENTERTAINMENT ART

On National Film Day, movie tickets cost only $3

New York Saturday’s National Movie Day brought the big screen to moviegoers for a pittance — no more than $3 — as American movie theaters looked to fill up their seats during the summer lull.

The nationwide one-day promotion was shown on more than 30,000 screens in more than 3,000 theaters, including AMC’s major chains and Regal Cinemas. The Film Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, announced the plan on August 28 and said all major film studios are also participating.

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

National Film Day aims to flood theaters with moviegoers and drive them back in the fall, inspired by a string of upcoming films from A24, Amazon Studios, Disney, Focus Features, Lionsgate, Neon, Paramount, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony, United Artists Releasing, Universal and Warner Bros.

More than two years into the pandemic, movie theaters have rebounded dramatically over the summer, bringing business back to nearly pre-pandemic levels. Movies like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Minions: Rise of Gru,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and “Jurassic World Dominion” have pushed domestic summer ticket sales to $3.3 billion as of August 21, according to data firm Comscore. .

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But this tracks 2019 totals by about 20% as exhibitors were 30% lower in broad releases this year. Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, has indicated a tight supply of major new releases in confirmation Recent discussions about filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The organizers of National Film Day described the event as an experience that could become an annual event. While some other countries have experienced a similar day for cheap movie tickets, this initiative is the first of its kind on such a large scale in the US

“Following a record return this summer to movie theaters, we wanted to do something to celebrate going to the movies,” Jackie Brenneman, president of the Cinema Foundation, said in a statement on August 28. “We do this by offering ‘thanks’ to the moviegoers who made this summer happen, and by offering additional temptation to those who haven’t yet returned.”

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

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