Going to the movies got a little more affordable during the third quarter of 2016. Fewer 3D films meant cheaper seats, with the average ticket prices falling 2.5% to $8.51, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners, an exhibition industry lobbying group. That’s down from a record-setting $8.73 during the previous quarter. It is, however, an increase of more than 3% from the year-ago period, when tickets cost an average of $8.25.
The ticket price covers the July through September period, a span of time that encompassed the end of summer blockbuster season and the beginning of fall, a point that usually marks a shift from popcorn films to more adult-oriented fare. That’s not to say that there weren’t films released in 3D and IMAX. “Suicide Squad” and “The Secret Life of Pets” were among the highest-grossing productions — both were available in premium formats, which allow theaters to charge a premium.
Through the first nine months of the year, the average ticket price stands at $8.61. That exceeds the average of $8.43 from 2015 and would mark a record.