The national ticket average has increased four percent from $8.65 to $8.97, the Motion Picture Association of America shared in its annual report on Wednesday.
The MPAA also reported that total admissions for the year were 1.24 billion, down six percent from the 1.32 billion made in 2016. This is consistent with the 1.237 billion admissions estimate posted by the National Alliance of Theater Owners (NATO) back in January, and is the lowest amount of tickets sold since 1993.
NATO President and CEO John Fithian said in a conference call that the admissions drop can be attributed to several major film releases, particularly in the summer, that failed to attract as much interest as was expected, and that an increase in entertainment options has led to similar drops in admissions and audience size across a variety of platforms.
“Ultimately, we don’t put torn tickets in the bank. We put in cash,” Fithian said. “Revenue still rose above $11 billion for the third straight year, and with the increasing competition from various entertainment platforms, we see this steady revenue hold as a sign of a stable market.”
In the demographics, minorities are slowly showing greater share of the box office. Latinos overrepresented in 2017, making up 18 percent of the U.S. population yet accounting for 23 percent of all tickets sold. As African-American audiences showed up en masse for “Black Panther” over the past two months, the movie market continues to trend towards minority-majority share of admissions, as Caucasian moviegoers now make up 55 percent of all tickets sold while comprising 61 percent of the population.
Globally, the box office topped $40 billion for the first time ever despite a two percent drop year-over-year domestically. The U.S. box office reached $11.1 billion last year, while growth in China and other developing markets pushed the overseas share of the global box office to 73 percent with $29.5 billion. Revenue in Asia increased to $16 billion, up six percent from last year, while Latin America revenue increased 22 percent to $3.4 billion.
Global growth should continue in 2018 and beyond, as AMC announced today that it will open the first movie theater in Saudi Arabia as the Middle East country ends its decades-long ban on cinemas.