Movie Ticket Prices Hit Record High

It’s more expensive to go to the movies than ever before.

Average ticket prices hit a new high during the second quarter of 2016, topping out at $8.73, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners, an exhibition lobbying firm. That trumps the previous record of $8.70, a pinnacle that the industry reached in the final fiscal quarter of 2015. The culprit is likely more premium format, IMAX and 3D screenings for recent hits such as “Captain America: Civil War” and “Finding Dory.” These showings often carry surcharges.

The latest numbers also represent a 1.7% hike from the first quarter average of $8.58 a ticket, as well as a 1.4% increase from the year-ago average of $8.61. Of course, most moviegoers in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles, where prices routinely top $10, would see that average price as a relative bargain. But these figures are culled from national ticket prices, not only from urban areas.

Ticket prices increased despite the fact that the quarterly box office took a dip. Ticket sales were down roughly 9.5% for the three-month period ending in June, as films such as “Alice Through the Looking Glass” and “Warcraft” faltered and hits such as the latest “Captain America” failed to match 2015’s revenues.

Of course, the comparison was a difficult one. The second quarter of 2015 saw the release of blockbusters such as “Inside Out,” “Jurassic World” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

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