After adding up the final results from the Labor Day weekend box office, it’s clear that National Cinema Day was a blockbuster success!
The one-day event took place on Saturday 9/3, with a majority of theatres participating in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Ireland. The total box office on that day actually increased compared with Saturday from the prior weekend, despite there being no major new Hollywood release and the price of each movie ticket being discounted to $3.
In North America, there were 8.1 million admissions on National Cinema Day, with TOP GUN: MAVERICK as the top-grossing film of the day, with many fans taking advantage of the $3 ticket offer to see it again in IMAX and other premium large format theatres.
The U.K. and Ireland had more than 1.5 million admissions on Saturday, bringing the total number of $3 tickets for the one-day event to almost 10 million. This number will skyrocket after admissions from India’s National Cinema Day are added in. That event will take place on 9/16 with tickets selling for 75 INR, the equivalent of $0.94. In fact, admissions are even more important than the box office grosses, since theatres can boost their revenues and profits based on concessions sold to all those moviegoers.
2022 had somewhat unique market conditions leading to the partnership between exhibitors and studios to create National Cinema Day. In future years, most studios will avoid launching a new release on a weekend when National Cinema Day takes place, given the steep discount in ticket price translating to lower studio earnings. On the other hand, perhaps a National Cinema Day in future years can be timed to take place during a low point in the release schedule, creating a net win for all involved as it did this year.