Still haven’t seen “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer”? This Sunday, you’ll be able to catch up for $4 a ticket in movie theaters nationwide.
Theater owners announced Monday that the second annual National Cinema Day will be held Sunday, Aug. 27. For one day, all movies — in all formats and at all showtimes — will be $4 at participating theaters. More than 3,000 theaters are participating, which accounts for most of the cinemas in the U.S., including the leading chains AMC and Regal.
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It’s the second straight year theaters are trotting out the one-day event at the tail end of summer. Last year’s inaugural National Cinema Day, put on by the Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Association of Theater Owners, was judged an enormous success. An estimated 8.1 million moviegoers bought $3 tickets on Saturday, Sept. 3. The average movie ticket in 2022, according to NATO, cost $10.53.
The discount gimmick turned into the highest attended day of the year for theaters. A normally quiet time instead saw cinemas crowded with moviegoers — and theaters sold plenty of popcorn. This year, the day is moving up slightly on the calendar, shifting from Saturday to Sunday, and costs $1 more.
But thanks to remarkably sustained interest in “Barbie,” as well as in “Oppenheimer,” the August box office has been booming. The summer box office is up to $3.8 billion in ticket sales through Sunday, according to data firm Comscore — about 16.6% ahead of 2022 at the same point.
While last year’s Cinema Day had fairly paltry offerings ( “Top Gun: Maverick” was the top draw, more than two months after it opened), this year’s will feature “Barbie” in its fifth week. Greta Gerwig’s record-breaking film has made $1.28 billion worldwide. There’s also Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” ($717.8 million globally), the second week of the DC Comics film “Blue Beetle” and new releases “Gran Turismo,” “Golda,” “Bottoms” and “Retribution.”
The event is also a way for studios to sell audiences on their fall lineups. A sneak peek of anticipated autumn releases will play before each screening.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.