Jonathan Landrum Jr
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Spider-Man: No Way Home has swung back on top of the box office during a holiday weekend where American theaters aimed to lure moviegoers with discounted USD3 tickets.
The first ‘National Cinema Day’ nationwide promotion became the highest-attended day of the year, drawing an estimated 8.1 million moviegoers on Saturday, according to The Cinema Foundation.
The one-day event – offered on more than 30,000 screens and held in more than 3,000 theatres, including major chains AMC and Regal Cinemas – collected preliminary box office returns of USD24.3 million, according to data firm Comscore.
National Cinema Day was intended to flood theatres with moviegoers during a Labor Day weekend, which is traditionally one of the slowest weekends in the industry.
The promotion looked to prompt people to return in the fall, inspired by a sizzle reel of the upcoming films from major studios including Disney, Lionsgate, Sony and A24.
“This event outstripped our biggest expectations,” said President of the Cinema Foundation Jackie Brenneman, a non-profit arm of the National Association of Theater Owners, in a statement. “The idea of the day was to thank moviegoers for an amazing summer, and now we have to thank them for an amazing day.”
Some other countries have experimented with a similar day of cheap movie tickets, but Saturday’s promotion was the first of its kind on such a large scale in the United States (US) Organizers of the National Cinema Day said the event could become an annual fixture.
“This proves that people love going to the theatres,” said senior media analyst for Comscore Paul Dergarabedian. “Pricing is always a consideration.”
The top three performing movie titles for the day included Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, The Rock and Kevin Hart’s DC League of Super Pets and Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train. Another top draw was Spider-Man: No Way Home, which recaptured the No 1 box office spot for the weekend.
With never-seen footage, the re-release of the Sony and Marvel blockbuster superhero film starring Tom Holland and Zendaya brought in an estimated USD6 million. Top Gun followed with USD5.5 million, Super Pets garnered USD5.45 million, Bullet Train pulled in USD5.4 million and last week’s top earner The Invitation grossed USD4.7 million to round out the top five.
The re-release of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws, on big screens for the first time in 3D, nabbed the final spot among the weekend’s top 10 performers.