Movie admissions fell in Q2, but exhibitors may find a silver lining when they tally their revenues.
The average consumer outlay for tickets hit a new high, $8.95 — a 2.5% increase vs the period last year — the National Association of Theatre Owners reports. That tops the $8.84 in Q1, the previous high.
People paid premium prices for theaters with recliner seats and for hits in 3D and large screen venues. Movies that did well in the settings included Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Wonder Woman, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Beauty and the Beast, and Fate of the Furious.
Remember that the NATO number reflects the average amount that consumers paid for a ticket. It can rise when people elect to go to premium venues, or to fewer discounted matinees, as well as when theaters raise prices.
It’s also a nationwide average that includes discounted showings — not just the prices charged in major cities on weekend evenings.
AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment have been increasing the number of theaters offering recliner seats, and raising prices for them, RBC Capital Markets’ Steven Cahall and Leo Kulp said in a report this week. But Cinemark, they add, has had a strategy to “lower prices to drive attendance.”
The high average outlay might look more modest if previous averages are adjusted for inflation. For example, in 1977 consumers spent an average of $2.23 per ticket — which would come to $9.34 today with the adjustment, NATO notes.