Movie Ticket Prices Jump 5 Percent Year-Over-Year to $8.93 in Q3

Five of top ten highest grossing films this past quarter were R-rated

The National Alliance of Theater Owners (NATO) announced Wednesday that the national average ticket price for Q3 2017 settled at $8.93, up 4.9 percent from last year.

NATO also reported that five of the top ten highest grossing films from Q3 were R-rated films, leading to more sales of higher-priced adult tickets. The highest grossing of those titles was Warner Bros.’ “Dunkirk,” which grossed $186.8 million in Q3. Other R-Rated releases in the top ten for Q3 include “It,” “Annabelle: Creation,” and “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.”

When compared to ticket prices from forty years ago, the 2017 average is still lower after inflation adjustment. The national ticket average in 1977 was $2.23, which adjusts to $9.41 in 2017, 5.2 percent higher than the current average.

The total domestic gross for 2017 currently stands at $8.48 billion, down approximately 5 percent year-to-date from 2017. At the current national ticket average, that estimates to about 950 million tickets sold. At its current pace, movie theater attendance is expected to reach 1.22 billion, which would be the lowest in a quarter-century. Box office ticket sales have been in decline since 2002, when an industry-record 1.5 billion tickets were sold.