Domestic Box Office Attendance Falls 4.6 Percent in 2019

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The average price of a movie ticket rose to $9.37 in the fourth quarter of the year.

As domestic box office revenue ended on a down note in 2019 at $11.4 billion — falling 4 percent year-over-year but also marking the second best on record — movie attendance also took a tumble in North America. 

Total theater attendance fell 4.6 percent from 2018 to 1.244 billion last year, the National Association of Theatre Owners disclosed Friday. That's ahead of 2017's recent low of 1.236 billion but still marks a steep drop from 1.301 billion last year. 

Additionally, the average price of a movie ticket rose to $9.37 in the fourth quarter of 2019, the trade group stated. That's up about 36 cents from the year's first-quarter average.  

The full-year average ticket price was $9.16, which reflects all formats and locales stateside. (That's a figure that now tops streaming competitors, with the basic plan for Netflix costing $8.99 monthly and Disney+ at $6.99 monthly.)

Domestically, seven of the top ten highest-grossing films were released by Disney, led by Avengers: Endgame ($858 million), The Lion King ($543 million), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ($483 million), Toy Story 4 ($434 million) and Frozen II ($430 million). 

Despite a down year domestically, total global box office revenue managed to hit a record $42.5 billion in 2019, per Comscore. Nine films released last year crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide. 

Globally, Endgame surpassed 2009's Avatar for the all-time record and hit the $2.79 billion mark, while The Lion King grossed $1.65 billion and Frozen II scored $1.37 billion.