After a hugely popular debut in 2022, National Cinema Day is coming again to the U.K.
Over 630 venues have signed up to participate in the event on Sept. 2, offering tickets from £3 ($3.75) across the day. All major U.K. cinema operators and a range of smaller cinema operators and venues are participating.
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The 2022 event, the first in almost 30 years, saw some 1.5 million admissions, around three times their normal level. While last year’s event was in a market recovering from COVID-19 closures, the 2023 edition bows in a scenario where punters are thronging the cinemas thanks to the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon, which saw the highest level of weekly U.K. cinema admissions in over a decade. The popularity of the two films, which released in July, has continued into August, with “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” occupying the top two box office spots for five consecutive weekends. The summer box office, from May to mid-August, is running 12% higher than the same period in 2022.
National Cinema Day has been developed by the cross-industry body Cinema First and is supported by the Film Distributors’ Association and the U.K. Cinema Association. The event will be promoted through a wide-ranging marketing effort using broadcast, digital and outdoor channels.
Iain Jacob, chair of Cinema First, said: “There seems no better time than now to celebrate U.K. cinema-going, one of the nation’s favorite out-of-home leisure activities. Coming off of the back of recent successes and the huge profile they have given to the sector, we wanted to give everyone a chance to enjoy the big screen experience.
While all the evidence confirms that cinema-going is amongst the most low-cost, best value-for-money leisure opportunities, we also of course recognize that many households are still experiencing significant impacts on their finances and wanted to do our bit to make a trip to the cinema even more affordable for the whole family.
I am hugely grateful for the level of support shown by colleagues across the industry for National Cinema Day, which we very much hope will exceed last year’s very successful event, confirming the continued relevance of film in the lives of the cinema-going audience.”
The U.S. National Cinema Day is on Aug. 27.
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