The average moviegoer paid $7.93 for a ticket last year — just 4 cents more than in 2010, the smallest year-over-year increase since 1994 when prices fell 1.4% — according to data released today by the National Association of Theatre Owners. But another new statistic may strike exhibitors as more ominous: Consumers paid an average of $7.83 in the last three months of the year, down 2.2% from the same period in 2010. The data provide yet more evidence of the overall anemia in the business last year: Total admissions dropped 4.6% to 1.28B and moviegoers spent $10.5B, down 0.6%, according to estimates from SNL Kagan. “It’s been a tough economy for three years now and people are watching their dollars,” says NATO Director of Media & Research Patrick Corcoran. For example, he notes that admissions have been up on Tuesdays, when many theaters offer lower prices than they do on weekends. Ticket prices were up 5.2% in 2010 and 4.5% in 2009.
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