This article originally appeared in the North Texas e-News.
While Labor Day may be the star of the show during this upcoming three-day weekend, the movie theater industry is looking to start a new tradition to accompany it.
The Cinema Foundation, a nonprofit group advocating for the film industry, is launching National Cinema Day on September 3 with an impressive discount deal for moviegoers. At participating theaters, which include major chains like Cinemark, Regal and AMC, tickets for each movie will be just $3 regardless of the time of day or format.
It’s undeniably a great deal, but one that could have probably come at a better time. While cheap entertainment is always welcome on holiday weekends, the current slate of film offerings is suspiciously light on blockbusters to say the least.
As the LA Times noted in a recent piece, it appears film fans are in a box office drought that looks primed to extend through October 21 when the Dwayne Johnson-led DC superhero flick Black Adam makes its way to theaters. Additionally, the creation of National Cinema Day comes just a little over a week after the Wall Street Journal reported that the owners of Regal Cinemas, Cineworld, are expected to file bankruptcy.
Not everything about National Cinema Day has to be so gloomy though. In fact, if you look closely, there’s still some unique or enjoyable movies out right now. They’re just not the kind of attention-grabbing franchise entries that we’re used to seeing.
Arguably leading the way is Bullet Train, the raucous Brad Pitt starring action film that the e-News recently gave an 8/10. It’s a real tentpole blockbuster experience that’s best experienced in theaters. If you haven’t seen it yet, it truly is a blast.
Additionally, there’s Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, one of the best performing box office entries for the popular anime series. The movie, which is seen as a return to the franchise’s roots in a certain way, topped the box office returns from August 19 through August 21 according to Box Office Mojo.
Finally, leading the new releases for the weekend is Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. The upcoming comedy-mockumentary currently sits at 83% on popular review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, a far-cry from last weekend’s box office “winner” The Invitation at just 22%.
In other words, while the amount of smash hit names we’re used to seeing in theaters may be a bit sparse this weekend, there’s still some potentially worthwhile moviegoing opportunities for those looking to take advantage of the massive sale on the newly dubbed National Cinema Day.