Domestic movie ticket prices rose to an average of $8.58 in the first quarter of 2016, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. The average ticket price rose 46 cents, a 5.4% increase from the first quarter of 2015.
NATO also reported that the average ticket price for all of 2015 was $8.43, up from $8.17 in 2014. Tickets in the fourth quarter of 2015 averaged an even higher, at $8.70, likely due to premium prices for large format and 3D films such as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
In the first quarter of 2016, the biggest grossers have been “Deadpool” ( $360 million), “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ($313 million) and “Zootopia” ($309 million). While lower-priced kids tickets drive the average ticket price down, a big turnout of adults for films like “Deadpool,” especially those buying Imax tickets, will lead to a higher average price.
In the first quarter of last year, tickets averaged $8.12.
Total box office in 2015 was $11.1 billion in the U.S. and Canada, up 8% from 2014. Admissions were also up in 2015, with 4% more tickets sold than in 2014 — a hopeful sign for the exhibition business, which is being challenged by Netflix, VOD and the specter of premium home viewing via the Screening Room.