The National Association of Theater Owners reports this morning that the average movie ticket price during the third quarter came in at $8.93.
While that’s +3% over the national average of $8.65, it’s down two cents from Q2 and +1% from Q1’s $8.84 when a slew of box office hits were in play Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, La La Land, Split, Hidden Figures and Get Out.
NATO reports that five of the top 10 movies released in the quarter were R-rated and skewed toward higher priced adult tickets. By the end of September, New Line/Warner Bros.’ It drew $286.6M ($315.4M to date). Eight of the top 15 grossers and 10 0f the top 20 grossers were rated-R. Dunkirk, the third highest grossing title released in the quarter (near $187M at end of September, currently at $187.6M) also attracted more adult ticket buyers, and was a big Imax draw, holding large format screens into the beginning of September. That’s one reason why we didn’t see a big four-quad pic in August like last year’s Suicide Squad: Because Dunkirk had its grip on Imax.
The annual box office per ComScore is at $8.49 billion, -4.6% behind the same Jan. 1-Oct. 15 period a year ago. While exhibitor stocks took their toll over the summer due to a lackluster period, many believe the amount of tentpole product that’s left in the year — Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, Warner Bros.’ Justice League, Disney/Pixar’s Coco and Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi — could carry us to another record year, potentially besting last year’s $11.4 billion.