As far as the results of National Cinema Day, NATO is reporting 8.1M admissions for Saturday vs. box office stat org EntTelligence’s 8M admissions. Saturday’s box office for all movies is estimated around $24.3M, which is +9% from last Saturday, per Comscore. What National Cinema Day did was suction most of the $ business out of Friday and displaced it to Saturday: EntTelligence reports that just under 1M people went to the movies on Friday. In addition the analytics org saw Saturday notching 6x more presales than Friday. Friday to Saturday business for all movies last weekend was +37% versus +96% this weekend over the last two days. The 3-day box office for all titles this weekend is estimated to come in at $53.5M, roughly on par to last weekend.
No one is saying that holding a National Cinema Day with $3 tickets (even cash-strapped Regal was among the three major circuits participating) is a bad idea. Three thousands locations across 30K screens took part. The whole point of the day is to attract those who haven’t been to the movies during the pandemic, in addition to provide life to cinemas at a time when studios don’t have any fresh fare. And headcount-wise, that is a mission accomplished: 8.1M people came out in one day, which is just under the total weekend admissions for the 3-day portion of Labor Day 2019 (8.2M per EntTelligence) and even higher than last year’s 3-day 7.8M, when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was on the marquee. Moviegoing begets moviegoing.
“The success of National Cinema Day was measured in patron count this past weekend. It was about bringing back audiences who were still concerned about the return to the theater, and for rewarding loyal moviegoers. Arguably, this is the first time there was a push for moviegoing as opposed to seeing a particular movie. Collectively, the industry succeeded,” said EntTelligence Chief Strategy Officer Steve Buck.