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Movie Ticket Prices Climb 2 Percent in Q3 Over Last Year to $8.25 Average

But that’s down from $8.61 in Q2, when 3D films dominated

The average cost of a movie ticket dropped in the third quarter, but it was still the highest on record for the July-September period, the National Association of Theaters Owners said Monday.

The $8.25 average price in the most recent quarter was down from the $8.61 of the second quarter, a dip attributable to the proliferation of 3D and giant screen offerings that dominated the early summer, including “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Jurassic World.” Those bring premiums as much as $3 or $4 over general admission prices.

Even with the drop, the average ticket cost was 2.1 percent higher than last year’s third quarter, which had been the highest ever for that period.

“Minions” was the highest-grossing movie in July, “Straight Outta Compton” topped August and “Hotel Transylvania 2” was the leader in September. The success of the animated family films helped bring down prices since many parents are disinclined to shell out the extra money for 3D glasses for the entire clan and matinees are frequently discounted.

The domestic box office has boomed this year, and is on pace to be the biggest ever. It’s running 5.5 percent ahead of 2014 and 1.6 percent ahead of 2013, which was the biggest year ever in terms of grosses.

Overall, 3D has seen a surge in popularity, and this has been a strong year for IMAX and Premium Large Format. Those are factors in the surge, along with the slow year at the specialty box office, where upcharges are rare.

The average figures are for the entire country, so most moviegoers in New York for L.A. would be glad to pay $8.25, while films fans in rural Indiana might find it steep.