The average first-quarter movie ticket price for North America jumped 3.6% from a year ago, rising from $8.84 to $9.16, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has reported.
The figure, released Monday by NATO, is down only two cents from the fourth-quarter average of $9.18, which was driven by the combination of premium prices for tentpole films (such as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) and awards contenders.
Overall business during the first quarter was down about 2.8% to $2.93 billion, according to comScore, as Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” generated 22% of the quarter’s revenues with $648 million. A pair of holdovers released on Dec. 20 performed well, with Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” grossing $233 million during the quarter and Fox’s “The Greatest Showman” taking in $122.8 million.
The rest of the slate failed to deliver another blockbuster with “Ready Player One,” “Peter Rabbit,” and “Fifty Shades Freed” becoming the only other films released during the first quarter that wound up over the $100 million mark.
NATO said Monday that the number of tickets sold fell 6% in the first quarter to 311 million from 331 million in the first quarter of 2017. That’s the same decline that NATO reported in January, when it disclosed that U.S. movie admissions slid 6% last year to 1.24 billion for the lowest number since 1995.