A closed CineArts Empire theater is seen in San Francisco, California, U.S. April 14, 2021.
A closed CineArts Empire theater is seen in San Francisco, California, U.S. April 14, 2021. Reuters / NATHAN FRANDINO

Cinemark Holdings Inc has signed up 1 million paying subscribers to its Movie Club monthly subscription plan, the company said on Wednesday, hailing a rebound in moviegoing after disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic.

The third-largest movie theater chain in the United States said it was the first cinema operator to cross the 1 million milestone for a paid subscription plan.

"It's real positive momentum, specifically for us, but I think it also is just a reflection on what's going on in the industry," President and Chief Executive Sean Gamble said in an interview.

"We look at that as just a good sign of enthusiasm about moviegoing."

Launched in December 2017, Cinemark Movie Club costs $10 a month for a movie, discounts on additional tickets and concessions, and other benefits.

Extended closings battered business for movie theaters during the pandemic and ticket sales have yet to recover.

Year-to-date sales in the United States and Canada are running 40% behind the same point in 2019, data from Comscore shows.

Theater owners are hoping for a strong summer, pointing to big audiences for recent releases, such as "Top Gun: Maverick."

The sequel to Tom Cruise's 1986 hit took in roughly $156 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices over the U.S. Memorial Day weekend.

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