Going to the movies in the U.S. cost an average of $8.61 during the second quarter of 2015, according to exhibition industry trade group the National Association of Theatre Owners. That surpasses the previous high-water mark of $8.38 from the second quarter of 2013.
It’s also a 3.4% increase from the year-ago average of $8.33 and a 6% jump from the first quarter average of $8.12.
There are a number of reasons for the uptick in prices. Moviegoers have rediscovered their appreciation for 3D releases, with 3D screenings for the likes of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “San Andreas” and “Jurassic World” drawing more than 40% of their opening weekend business from those showings. Previously, the percentage of 3D box office grosses for major releases was in the 30% range or lower.
It also appears that the growth in premium large formats like Imax and the rise of luxury seating is being felt. Theaters are investing in more amenities, with major chains like AMC and Regal outfitting their locations with plush recliners, allowing them to charge visitors higher prices.