Average Price of Movie Tickets Hits Record High as Summer Box Office Slumps

MovieTicketPrices
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

While summer box office revenue continues its steady decline this year, the average price per movie ticket continues to rise.

According to a new report from the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the average price American consumers paid for a ticket hit a new high in the second quarter of 2017, at $8.95 — a figure that represents a 2.5 percent increase from exactly a year ago, though the figures are not adjusted for inflation.

The rise in the average ticket price is due partly to consumers’ increasing propensity to patronize luxury theaters that offer dinning, recliner seating, and larger screens — with venues like AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment offering extra amenities at a higher price point per ticket.

And there could be even more innovation in store for traditional movie theaters; this week, Samsung unveiled its brand new “Cinema LED Screen,” a mammoth, 34-foot high-resolution display that could negate the need for theaters to use digital projectors.

Patrons enjoy a movie while seated in reclining chairs, at the newly redesigned AMC theatre on Broadway at 84th Street, in New York, October 21, 2013. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

The increase in ticket cost does, ironically, coincide with a summer movie season that has seen an eight percent drop to date over summer 2016 in overall domestic box office receipts.

While Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2,  Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, DC’s Wonder Woman, and Twentieth Century Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes have been huge blockbuster successes, bloated-budget sequels and remakes — Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Transformers: The Last Knight, Alien: Covenant, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The Mummy, and Baywatch — have been major flops.

The increase in average ticket prices comes as Netflix and other streaming services attempt to eat in to theater revenue by offering exclusive content that can be watched at home. Netflix announced this week that it had added 5.3 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2017, far exceeding Wall Street analysts’ prediction of 3.23 million new subscribers.

 

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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