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Movie Ticket Prices Reach An All-Time High


Movie Theatre Film Cinema

It has never cost more to see a movie. 

According to the National Association of Theatre Owners, the average movie ticket now costs $8.12, an all-time high.

The price of tickets actually dropped in the first quarter of 2012 from $7.93 to $7.92, but rose 2.5 percent once summer blockbusters like "The Avengers" hit theaters. 

Ticket prices have been on the rise since 1995 when tickets jumped from $4.08 the year before to $4.35, and never leveled off. 

The recent inflation of ticket prices can be largely attributed to 3-D and IMAX surcharges, but its far from a recent trend. 

Check out the evolution of the price of a single movie ticket, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners:

  • 1948: $0.36
  • 1958: $0.68
  • 1967: $1.22
  • 1977: $2.23
  • 1987: $3.91
  • 1997: $4.59
  • 2002: $5.80
  • 2007: $6.88
  • 2011: $7.93
  • 2012: $8.12

This is something to consider when one hears about a new movie breaking a box office record. "Gone With The Wind's" $190 million domestic gross in 1939 is a lot more impressive than "Avatar's" mammoth $750 million domestic total. 

While yearly box office revenue appears to be holding strong (between $10.17 billion and $10.60 billion in the last three years), actual ticket sales have steadily dropped in the last 10 years, from 1.58 billion tickets in 2002 to 1.28 billion in 2011.  

Perhaps what's keeping some potential ticket buyers away is the price hike. For a family of four wanting to see "The Amazing Spider-Man" in 3D IMAX and get a large soda and popcorn, they could have to shell out $100. It's no wonder some choose instead to watch movies at home, or not at all.

Home video dollars are declining as well. In 2007, 13 movies made over $100 million in DVD sales, as opposed to zero in 2011. Even Redbox, which provides daily rentals for one dollar, recently saw a 20 percent price increase

SEE ALSO: 'Total Recall' fails to escape 'Dark Knight's' shadow and the rest of the weekend box office report >

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