Movie Ticket Prices Hit Another Record High in Second Quarter

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The increase corresponded with the beginning of the summer season at the U.S. box office.

The average cost of going to the movies in North America hit another record high in the second quarter of 2017, at $8.95, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.

That compares to $8.84 in the first quarter of the year and to $8.73 in the second quarter of 2016. Ticket prices fluctuate from quarter to quarter depending on the strength of the marketplace, particularly 3D titles that can charge a premium or films that get a run in Imax theaters.

NATO notes that when adjusting for inflation, the landscape is much different. For example, the average ticket price in 1977 was $2.23 — or $9.34 when accounting for inflation. In 2016, the unadjusted average ticket price was $8.65.

The hike in Q2 2017 corresponded with the beginning of the summer season, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, as well as holdover spring tentpoles Beauty and the Beast and Fate of the Furious.