National Film Day set an attendance record in 2022 with 8.1 million tickets sold.
What happened now? Were you one of the millions of Americans who spent part of the holiday weekend at the movies? If so, you’re not alone: Some 8.1 million moviegoers watched films in local theaters on Saturday as part of the first-ever National Film Day.
Over 3000 cinemas participated in a one-day event offering $3 tickets to any film, any screening time, any format on over 30,000 screens. Some theaters also offered discounted concessions in combination with cheap tickets.
Simple math shows that this amounted to about $24.3 million in $3 ticket sales, making September 3rd the most visited day of the year for theaters in the US so far. Comscore reported that this figure is nine percent more than the previous Saturday.
The top ten films on National Film Day were, in order, Top Gun: Maverick, DC League of Super Pets, Bullet Train, Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Invitation, Beast, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Thor: Love. and Thunder, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and Jaws.
Wait, Jaws? It’s right. Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic was re-released this weekend in IMAX and RealD 3D. It’s only fitting that Jaws made it into the top 10, as it played a key role years ago in making summer the prime time for blockbuster films.
In the midst of the pandemic, with production of new films halted, desperate theater owners resorted to showing blockbuster classics such as Jaws, Back to the Future, ET, Psycho, The Goonies and Jurassic Park with discount to try and bring back moviegoers. It worked then and seems to work again.
At the very least, National Film Day demonstrated that nostalgia can still make people open their wallets. It has also proven that low-cost tickets are effective in bringing moviegoers to theaters, even if there are no new blockbusters to watch.
Image credit: Josh Eckstein, pixabay