National Cinema Day 2023 Draws 8.5M Admissions, +5% Over 2022 After ‘Gran Turismo’ & ‘Barbie’ Drag-Out Fight – Update

UPDATE: National Cinema Day did 8.5 million admissions off of a Sunday box office that clocked $34M. Admissions wise Cinema Day 2023 was +5% over last year’s 8.1M admissions (which came from $24M Saturday box office). All tickets for all movies and showtimes were $4 vs. last year’s $3.

Overall admissions for this past weekend per EntTelligence were 14.3M ( Comscore repored weekend B.O. was $92.8M). Hence, Cinema Day Sunday repped 59% of all foot traffic. The overall Friday-Sunday admissions of last year’s Labor Day frame were 10.5M (from 3-day box office of $55.6M), with Cinema Day Saturday repping 77% of that frame’s tickets stubs.

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The good news here is that the entire box office wasn’t lost this weekend on National Cinema Day. However, those admissions figures do include Sony’s lengthy preview of Gran Turismo. In the same breath more money was made on National Cinema Day than Friday ($28.1M) and Saturday ($30.7M). Overall, the Sunday B.O. was +11% over Saturday.

The whole gist behind National Cinema Day last year was to drive people to movie theaters in order to shake off their COVID jitters and to drive attendance to movie houses when there was no product in them. This year was different: There were a lot of tentpoles with Warner Bros.’ sixth weekend of Barbie at $15.1M warring with Sony’s first wide weekend of Gran Turismo ($17.4M) after the latter included nine days of advance sneak previews in their opening Friday. On the distribution side, there are some skeptics as to whether we needed National Cinema Day this year. Exhibition, who didn’t hold back online ticket booking fees, begs to differ.

Top pics on Cinema Day

1.) Barbie (WB) 3,736 theaters Sun admissions 1.4M Sun B.O. $5.67M (+5% from Saturday) Weekend B.O. $15.1M/Wk 6

Warners was projecting that they’d do 1.937M on Barbie yesterday. That did not happen.

2.) Blue Beetle (WB) 3,871 theaters, Sun admissions 1.35M Sun B.O. $5.4M (+32%) Weekend B.O. $12.1M/Wk 2

3.) Gran Turismo (Sony) 3,856 theaters Sun admissions 1.17M Sun B.O. $4.7M (+15%) Weekend B.O. $17.4M/Wk 1

4.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Par) 3,145 theaters, Sun admissions 831,8K Sun B.O. $3.3M (+38%) Weekend B.O. $7.2M/Wk 4

5.) Oppenheimer (Uni) 2,872 theaters Sun admissions 666,8K Sun B.O. $2.66M (-19%) Weekend B.O. $8.22M/Wk 6

“The positive response to National Cinema Day is just another reminder of how much people love going to the movie theater,” said Michael O’Leary, President & CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners in a statement. “In every corner, audiences came together in large numbers this weekend to share in the experience of seeing great stories on the big screen. These numbers show us that the future of exhibition is strong, and that consumer enthusiasm for the theatrical experience continues unabated.”

National Cinema Day was a significant success in bringing together millions of film fans of all ages to enjoy movies on the big screen,” shared Bryan Braunlich, Executive Director of The Cinema Foundation. “Movie theaters and all our partners helped maximize the impact of the day with creative marketing and special promotions that added to the overall excitement, while a diverse slate of exciting films provided something for everyone to see. Thank you to all those hard-working individuals who make the theatrical experience magical.”

More than 3,000 locations and more than 30,000 screens across the U.S. and Canada participated in National Cinema Day.

Exits for Gran Turismo have been amazing at 5 stars on PostTrak and an A CinemaScore; the pic being an underdog story with Seabiscuit and Rudy vibe.

EntTelligence reported that Barbie has clocked over 50M tickets sold during her domestic run. The pic’s total running cume stands at $7.2M shy of the $600M mark. Barbie toppled the global box office of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two today ($1.34 billion) and fully became Warner Bros.’ highest grossing movie ever in the history of the business.

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