It may not change the minds of consumers who believe that movie tickets cost too much. But they shelled out 0.6% less in the last three months of the year than they did at the end of 2013, the National Association of Theater Owners reports today. The average outlay was $8.30, due in part to the fact that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was not in IMAX theaters (with pricier tickets) while last year’s Hunger Games: Catching Fire was.
All told, moviegoers paid an average of $8.17 for a ticket in 2014, up 0.5% from 2013 and a new high. But the increase is a lot less than last year, which was up 2.1% over 2012. Nearly all of the increase came in the third quarter, which was up 3.1% vs the same period last year: Prices were virtually flat in Q1 and down 0.6% in Q2.
Remember that NATO tallies the average outlay for a ticket, a number that can rise or fall depending on how many people pay extra to see a 3D or large-screen film, or attend in the evening vs a lower-priced matinee. Tickets on weekend evenings in big cities cost a lot more than the national average.