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.