A discount ticket promotion by movie theaters across the country turned out to be a blockbuster hit.
The $3 tickets offered Saturday at more than 3,000 theaters drew 8.1 million moviegoers over the usually slow Labor Day Weekend, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.
The first of its kind National Cinema Day boosted ticket sales by 9% over the previous week at theaters that including national chains AMC Entertainment, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark Holdings.
The re-release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” — with 11 minutes of never seen footage — took top billing, according to IMBD’s Box Office Mojo. The superhero movie originally came out last December.
Other big draws included “Top Gun: Maverick,” “DC League of Super-Pets” and “Bullet Train.”
The pandemic has been brutal for the industry as lockdowns and fear of COVID spread limited the amount of tickets sold in 2020 and 2021 to 718.5 million.
This year is off to a better start with 842.6 million tickets sold so far, according to The Numbers, which tracks box office data.
Theater owners hope the success of last weekend’s promotion will drive moviegoers back into seats this fall for releases that include Disney’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”