Declining 3D Drives Down Summer Movie Ticket Prices

Despicable Me 2

Filmgoers spent more than 6% less at the movies than the previous quarter

After hitting an all-time high last quarter 2013, the domestic average ticket price decreased significantly to $7.84 per ticket during the third quarter, driven down more than 6% by the success of family films and decreased 3D admissions, according to the National Assn. of Theater Owners.

The average year-to-date price to go to the movies also went down, costing $8.05 per ticket. That’s compared with the $8.16 average yearly ticket price at the end of Q2.

It’s typical to see a notable dip in ticket prices during the third quarter because of cheaper admission prices for summer family films. The average ticket price during third-quarter 2012 dropped 4% from the previous quarter last year averaging $7.78.

This summer, there were a number of family films doing boffo business, including “Despicable Me 2,” “Monsters University,” “Planes” and “Grown Ups 2,” all of which helped drive down the quarterly average. The majority of family films sell cheaper-priced tickets for children.

Also, with higher-priced 3D waning for fanboy films, more 2D tickets sold during the summer also contributed to the lower ticket price. The recent success of “Gravity” in 3D and other premium formats won’t have an effect on ticket prices until the fourth quarter.

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  1. Jim Krisvoy says:

    The 3D premium prices need to come down and screen brightness levels need to increase; the latter is expected to start rolling out in the near future, depending on what source you want to believe, and realistically, we’re in a very tough economy and the industry needs to respond to it. The idea of 90% of all screens 3D for the Gravity rollout seems to have worked – but along with that the film is something the public wants to see in that format,

  2. Nanny Mo says:

    3D gives me a headache, so I go to the 2D versions, when there’s something worth going to, that is.

  3. This needs to have a breakdown of the ‘final’ 3D percentage for the films in tha quarter. The fact remains that there is a big difference between not being able to afford more than one 3D film a month and not wanting to go to a 3D showing. People are short of money and a single trip to the cinema is expensive enough in 2D. People / families are relied upon to go and see a new film every week, or at least 2-3 times in a month. Do w really think the family of 4 can afford to see Monsters’ U, Despicable Me 2 and Turbo within a matter of weeks AND pay to see them in 3D? The extra charge is simply too much. It needs to be lowered or at least set in motion something that allows you to see your next 3D film (from the ame studio or at the same cinema) for 1/3 the usual extra, or for 2D prices.)

    The fact remains that of the top 10 films, so far, at the North American Box office this year, only one film (Fast & Furious 6, the 5th highest grosser) wasn’t in 3D.

  4. LOL says:

    Well done, America. There is hope for ye yet.

  5. Phil says:

    As a man whom developed lazy-eye later in life, I can’t see 3D anyway and in a 3D theater, what is the point of going?

    Too bad for those who ran-out to buy the next big thing in 3D TV!

    • To see a film that you will hopefully enjoy with your family or friends. Aside from being slightly darker, what difference does it make to you?

      Seriously, what’s with being so disingenuous that you, who unfortunately have an eye problem, feel the need to wish the people who can see 3D have no more 3D films? I’m type 1 Diabetic and, een though it would be much better for everyone’s health, I’m not on some crusade to deprive people with a working Pancreas of any drinks that aren’t Pepsi Max, or Fanta Zero!

      3D isn’t going anywhere, especially on TV (Even the Dr. Who 50th Anniversary special is in 3D) where it just comes as standard in many models now, and certainly will with the 4K generation. As directors continue to choose 3D as a storytelling tool (and unfortunately some producers as a money enhancing one) the format will continue to grow. Globally 3D is helping films to make more money, so the producers in all the film making countries will continue to use it; and the best directors (as seen with Hugo, Life f Pi, Gravity, Tintin and more, continue to use 3D as a tool, not a weapon.)

      • Tony R says:

        Yeah the one eye argument is old and over used. Theaters still do show 3d movies in 2d, so it’s not impossible to see a 3d movie in 2d still at this point. 5 years ago 3d haters were saying “It’s impossible for theaters to show 2 formats of these movies. They just could do it financially. That’s going to end soon.” But it didn’t end soon. So just go see the 2d version. If you can’t then you take that up with your local theater, not say “Well I live in a tiny town that only has 4 screens so they should stop making 3d.” Not Hollywoods problem. That is the problem in living in certain areas, you just have to deal with it.

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