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Following last quarter’s record-high average ticket price of $8.12, the cost of ducats dipped more than 4% to an average $7.78 during the third quarter.

The year-to-date average ticket price stands at $7.94, down from $8.02 during the first half of 2012.

It’s typical for third-quarter average ticket prices to level off after the summer spike at the box office. This year saw increased early summer turnout with a record-smashing domestic perf from 3D behemoth “The Avengers.” Plus, the highest-grossing title in the third quarter — “The Dark Knight Rises” — helped lower the average price as it was a 2D-only pic.

Rising ticket prices is some cause for concern in relation to declining admissions, though the average ticket price in 1972, at $1.70, would cost $9.41 adjusted for inflation.

The cost of fourth-quarter ducats could be on the rise again, thanks to higher-priced adult pics like “Argo” and “Skyfall,” as well as 3D tentpoles “Life of Pi,” “Rise of the Guardians” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”