National Cinema Day Gave the Box Office a Boost – but Could Discounts Happen More Often?

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While successful as an annual event, insiders are skeptical about selling $4 tickets during other box office down periods

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In what may become an end-of-summer tradition, the National Association of Theatre Owners rallied together theaters, studios and premium format companies to host the second annual National Cinema Day, with thousands of cinemas selling movie tickets for just $4 on Sunday.

The event was quite successful, with NATO and Comscore reporting that 8.5 million tickets were sold on Sunday with overall grosses standing at $34 million, a 16% week-over-week increase from the previous Sunday. Theaters made more by charging less, in other words — and that’s not taking concessions into account.

The final weekends of the summer are usually slow periods for movie theaters, but the nationwide discount day brought an extra bit of business, so much so that Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock thinks that the film industry should consider trying these $4 days on other weekends when moviegoing is slow.