Consumers dug deeper into their pockets to pay for movie tickets in Q3 — averaging $8.25, up 2.1% vs the same period in 2014, according to data out today from the National Association of Theatre Owners. That makes this the third consecutive quarter with price increases, for a year-to-date average of $8.34.
But the increase in the three months ending in September was comparatively modest: Outlays are rising generally to account for price hikes, as well as growing interest in premium-priced venues with plush seating, 3D and large screens. The NATO figure divides attendance by box office revenues — which, at about $2.6 billion, were up 5.8%.
The increase in ticket outlays was lower because theaters had fewer 3D and Imax hits than they did last year. This summer three of the top 10 films — Ant-Man, Jurassic World and Terminator Genisys — were out in 3D and Imax versions, and one, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, was in 3D.
By contrast, last year four of the top 10 were in 3D and Imax — Guardians Of The Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers: Age Of Extinction and Hercules — and The Maze Runner was in 3D.
Remember that the NATO figure represents the average outlay for all theaters and times, not just the prices for blockbusters at big-city venues on weekend nights.
The $8.25 average outlay is 5.2% higher than 2013, and 7% higher than 2010.