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Declining 3D Drives Down Summer Movie Ticket Prices

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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