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Movie Tickets at All-Time High; 3-D, Not Inflation, to Blame

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NATO (not the military alliance) has finally confirmed what we’ve known all along. Movie tickets are more expensive than ever.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“The average ticket price at theaters in the U.S. last year rose to an all-time annual high of $7.89, up 5% from $7.50 in 2009, according to the National Assn. of Theatre Owners. In the fourth quarter, the average price was $8.01, up 5% from the year-ago period.”

NATO factored in ticket prices throughout America, including matinee and children’s prices, which explains why the new average price is roughly $143.22 less than what we pay in NYC.

One reason for the jump in prices? 3-D. NATO spokesman Gen. Patrick Corcoran tells the LA Times that 3-D films can add “$2.50 to $4 to the ticket prices.” Which again seems a little odd if you live in New York, where 3-D adds approximately $87 per ticket, plus $45 for the glasses, and the waiver for your kidney.

Overall box office sales remained flat last year despite a 5.3% drop in attendance compared to 2009.

But as NATO’s Lt. Col. Patrick Corcoran points out, ticket prices are still below what they were in 1970 when adjusted for inflation. Back then, the average ticket price in today’s dollars was $8.71.

With approximately 35 3-D films expected to be released this year, we can expect movie ticket prices to continue to rise.

Oh well, at least there’s always Netflix.
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