The $8.61 average outlay for a ticket in Q2 represents a 3.4% increase over the period last year, and is the highest quarterly price to date, according to data just out from the National Association of Theatre Owners.
The increase largely reflects the popularity of blockbusters led by Jurassic World and Avengers: The Age of Ultron, which commanded top-dollar prices in 3D as well as at Imax and other large-screen venues. The two films accounted for 42% of the total box office revenues in the quarter for the 10 most popular films.
Ticket outlays also are rising as theaters roll out plush and recliner seats, which also usually come with a premium price.
Remember that the $8.61 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 new number tops the previous quarterly high of $8.38 set in the second quarter of 2013.
The average for all of 2014 came to $8.17 which was the highest annual figure to date. When adjusted for inflation, though, it was a decline from 2010 when people spent an average of $7.89 — which theoretically would be worth about $8.60 today.