Fewer 3D films and more prestige pictures made it cheaper to go to the movies last quarter.
The average ticket price fell more than four percent over the three months ending in September to $7.78 after hitting record highs, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO). In the previous quarter, ticket prices had hit unprecedented levels, averaging $8.12.
The reason has to do largely with the lineup. The major blockbuster during this period, "The Dark Knight Rises," was not shot in 3D, meaning that many ticket buyers did not have to shell out a premium for the privilege of seeing Batman rescue Gotham City. The Christopher Nolan film was a big hit for IMAX, which does carry a surcharge, but there are much fewer screens in that format than there are 3D-equipped theaters.
Moreover, as summer shifts to fall, more movies become geared at adults, meaning that there is less cause to break out the ruby-tinted glasses for September movies like "The Master" and "End of Watch."
With films like "The Hobbit" and "Rise of the Guardians" hitting screens in 3D, those averages could climb during the final part of the year.
For the first three quarters of the year, NATO estimates that the average ticket price set moviegoers back $7.94.