3D films such as “Gravity” and “The Hobbit” sequel make going to the movies more costly
Going to the movies got pricier last year as 3D films and higher ticket costs made catching the latest blockbuster a more expensive proposition, according to new data by the National Association of Theater Owners.
The average ticket price rose a little more than 2 percent in 2013 to $8.13, compared to $7.96 in the previous year. It was a record-high annual average, NATO said.
The fourth quarter average was even higher — $8.35, a 3.7 percent jump from the year-ago period — although short of a high-water mark set earlier in the year. The fourth quarter culprit was likely a series of high-profile 3D and IMAX releases such as “Gravity” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Movies in those formats carry a surcharge.
During the third quarter, the average ticket price topped out at $7.84, but that was a period in which the major hits such as “The Conjuring” and “We're the Millers” arrived in two dimensions.
During the second quarter, average ticket prices hit a record high of $8.38. “Iron Man 3” and “Man of Steel” were among the major 3D releases in theaters during that three-month period ending June.
NATO is the main lobbying arm for exhibitors.