Italy Unveils Monthly 2 Euro Cinema Day to Boost Theater Attendance

'Quo Vado?' still - H 2016
Courtesy of Taodue Film

The country is rolling out a day each month with reduced prices across the country in hopes to boost audience numbers.

The Italian Ministry of Culture, along with the Italian producers association ANICA, the multiplex exhibitors association, ANEM, and the cinema exhibitiors association, ANEC, on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative to get Italians to the theaters, called Cinema2Day.

The new effort, approved by the country's culture minister, Dario Franceschini, will reduce the price of movie tickets to just 2 euros, or about $2.25, on the second Wednesday of every month between now and February. Costs are expected to be split between the government agencies and cinemas involved. 

"The goal of Cinema2Day is to get new viewers to the cinemas," said Andrea Occhipinti, president of ANICA and head of Lucky Red distribution.

Cinema2Day will be active in 3,000 theaters across Italy and will apply to all films except 3D movies, which will be screened for reduced prices.  

Movie tickets in Italy cost less than in many European countries, averaging about $8.43 a ticket. As in France, some cinema chains in Italy offer frequent movie cards, offering discounted rates for users who buy tickets in bulk.

In 2015 and 2016, Italian box-office revenue has been rising, thanks in part to local hits. So far this year, nothing has come close to comedian Checco Zalone's Quo Vado?, which pokes fun at Italian government positions and the attitude toward labor in the country. It smashed box-office records in its New Year's opening and has gone on to gross $73.1 million. 

Paolo Genovese's Perfect Strangers, about a a dangerous dinner party game among friends, holds the No. 2 spot for the year at $19.4 million, a box-office figure that was unheard of just two years ago.

With the rebound in homegrown cinema and initiatives to get people out to the theaters in droves, Italy is hoping to best last year's box-office total, which saw the top 10 films pull in $204 million.