Movie Ticket Prices Hit Record High

Movie Ticket Prices Hit Record High
Caiaimage/REX Shutterstock

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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  1. someonerandom says:

    $8/£6 pound a ticket! I’d take those prices. In Central London you’re paying around $20 for a standard adult (2D nothing extra) and $30 for IMAX.

  2. reynardo says:

    And yet here in Australia, unless it’s cheap-ass Tuesday, it’s $20 or more for a movie ticket. Ok that’s AUS $ but that’s still US$15 or more per adult. And I can’t quite get away with pretending to be 12 any more.

  3. Catherbo says:

    In Los Angeles go to Highland Park Theater on a Tuesday or Wednesday night- $4 for an adult admission for new releases! Free parking in the public lot behind the theater after 6 pm. Check out their website for exact ticket prices, dates, times, etc. Great restaurants less than a block away. Check it out. Lots of hipsters.

  4. Nanny Mo says:

    Eight dollars? I’d go. My theater is $15! And when you add the babysitter, parking, and treats, it’s $100. $7 a month for Netflix is a bargain! I really hate the reserved seats too. If I get online and all the good seats are gone, I stay home. It used to be fun hurrying to see if you could get a good seat, now, it’s not fun. I’ve gone to only one movie in the theater so far this year.

  5. Salma Hayek says:

    You know, if only I could find $8.73 tickets in LA for new releases (except for Sundance on Sunset Tuesday discounts), I would be happy! Average ticket price here: $15 plus ridiculous surcharges.

  6. LV Media says:

    Just paid $17 (w/service fees) for an adult ticket to an AMC with reserved seating for a Saturday evening show. $8.73 seems like a bargain!

  7. harry georgatos says:

    The average ticket price in Australia is $21.00. If I was paying $10.00 for a ticket I’ll be over the moon.

  8. homosezwut says:

    Here is where the movie ticket money is going…

    You can now get a monthly subscription to an OTT media provider like Netflix for the average price of one movie theater ticket.

    For the average cost of a family of four to go to the movies, you can buy a Chromecast & a pizza and watch OTT media on your big screen tv that you got at Walmart for $99 using your cell phone as the remote control.

    I love really good big CGI movies, but I wish “Movie Maker Money Men” would stop only betting big on just a handful CGI behemoths and start also making movies for the basic home theater experience spreading the risk over a bunch of new era standouts like they did in the 50’s with Wells & Wilder, the 70’s with DePalma & Scorcese, or in the 90’s with Soderbergh, Singleton & Spike Lee.

    Wouldn’t it be great to harvest another batch of interesting movie makers for the next 20 years? – Oh wait, I guess that is what is happening in the new Golden Age of Television today :) – #wut

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