National Cinema Day to Offer $4 Movie Tickets

Discounted movie tickets will be just $4 for one day only on National Cinema Day 2023.

Barbenheimer isn't the only bombshell of the summer: movie tickets will cost just $4 for the second National Cinema Day. The Cinema Foundation, a non-profit founded by the National Association of Theatre Owners to grow audiences and promote the moviegoing experience, announced Monday that the one-day event will return this Sunday, August 27th. Discounted tickets will be available for all movies — including first run blockbusters Barbie and Oppenheimer — for all showtimes and all formats at more than 3,000 participating movie theaters nationwide.

That means a Barbenheimer double feature will cost just $8, even if you catch Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer in IMAX. Along with the return of The Super Mario Bros. Movie to theaters and the live-action The Little Mermaid: Sing-Along version, new releases Blue Beetle (August 18th), Strays (August 18th), Gran Turismo (August 25th), and the 30th anniversary re-release of Jurassic Park 3D (August 25th) are all included at the $4 price point.

"Following the rousing success of the first annual National Cinema Day, we welcome everyone to join us for the communal experience of one of America's favorite pasttimes — moviegoing," said Cinema Foundation president Jackie Brenneman in a statement. "We look forward to gathering at the movies and celebrating an exciting slate of new releases and classics, from beloved family favorites and outrageous comedies to thought-provoking dramas and thrilling adventures. There's something for everyone."

Added Michael O'Leary, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, "Movies have the power to bring us together to share in the joy, the thrill and the magic of a great story told on the big screen. National Cinema Day is a celebration of movie fandom and of the uniting role that movie theaters play in our communities."

Among the summer movies still in theaters are the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, which topped Barbie and Oppenheimer as the best-reviewed movie of the summer; Tom Cruise's action-packed Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One; A24's supernatural horror Talk to Me; Jason Statham's monster action-thriller Meg 2: The Trench; Disney's star-studded comedy, Haunted Mansion; the gothic horror The Last Voyage of the Demeter, based on a chapter from Bram Stoker's Dracula; indie thriller Sound of Freedom; and Pixar's leggy Elemental

While their screen counts have been slashed, other still-playing titles include June releases Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Insidious: The Red Door, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

The National Association of Theatre Owners' Cinema Foundation launched the first-ever National Cinema Day on September 3rd, 2022, to drive moviegoers to theaters ahead of the traditionally slow Labor Day weekend. According to a March 2023 report from NATO, the inaugural Cinema Day brought an estimated 8.1 million moviegoers to theaters, with box office returns of $23.8 million for the day — 8% ahead of the preceding Saturday, even at the discounted ticket price of $3. The top 10 performers were Top Gun: Maverick, the animated DC League of Super Pets, Bullet Train, the "More Fun Stuff" extended edition of Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Invitation, Beast, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Thor: Love and Thunder, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, and the re-release of Jaws.

Family films saw the greatest increase in Saturday box office, according to NATO, with theaters seeing a 103% day over day uptick from an overall Saturday box office of $23.8 million for all films, compared to $11.7 million for Friday; the Sat. box office for the top 10 films on Sept. 3rd was $18.6 million, compared to $8.8 million the day before, for a day over day uptick of 111%.