The average consumer outlay for tickets, from the National Association of Theatre Owners, is down 0.6% vs the same three-month period in 2013 — mostly due to a drop in attendance for premium-priced 3D and large-screen films. Box office for the quarter was down 6.6% as tentpole films including The Amazing Spider-Man 2, A Million Ways To Die In the West, and Captain America: The Winter Solider fell short of some analysts’ expectations. Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible, for one, noted that in Q2 “64% of tentpoles underperformed [his forecasts] and offset stronger performance by Maleficent, Transformers, 22 Jump Street and Godzilla.” The $8.33 average price in Q2 was up 4.6% vs the first three months of the year, a period when studios typically release few 3D films. Consumers paid an average of $8.13 for a movie ticket in 2013.
The average was 0.8% higher than in the same period last year, and a dime lower than in 2011′s Q3, according to data just out from the National Association of Theater Owners. The relatively small increase likely reflects the anemic performance of many premium-priced 3D films: The average price reflects the amount that consumers paid for tickets, not just the price that theaters charged for, say, a 2D admission. Domestic box office revenues were up about 6.5% to about $3B in Q3 led by releases including Universal’s Despicable Me 2, and Warner Bros’ We’re The Millers and The Conjuring. Ticket prices typically fall from Q2 to Q3 and this year was no exception. Moviegoers paid a record $8.38 for each admission in Q2.
This is the highest average price we’ve seen in years. The National Association of Theater Owners‘ Q2 stat is +5.5% vs Q1, and +3.2% over last year’s Q2. NATO‘s numbers can be a little confusing: They represent the average consumer outlay for a ticket, not the average price of, say, a ticket for a conventional 2D film. The number often fluctuates to reflect the demand for premium priced 3D and large screen movies. And in Q2 there were more hits than in the period last year, as well as more hits released in IMAX or that ran in theater chains’ proprietary large screen formats. Some seven films generated more than $100M at domestic box offices in Q2 vs three that did so in the same period last year. Overall box office sales were +7.8% year-over-year helped by crowd-pleasers including Disney’s Iron Man 3, Warner Bros’ Man Of Steel, and Paramount’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Combined with the average $7.94 ticket price in Q1, NATO says that theaters typically charged $8.16 in the first half of 2013.
The price the average moviegoer spent for a ticket in the first three months of 2013 is down from last year’s average of $7.96 and Q4′s $8.05, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. Prices also were basically flat vs early 2012 when buyers spent an average of $7.92. Ticket outlays peaked at $8.12 in last year’s Q2.
Year-end hits including Sony’s Skyfall, Lionsgate’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, and Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey helped propel the year’s average ticket price to $7.96, which is a new all-time high (not adjusted for inflation) but up just 3 cents from 2011 according to data out today from the National Association of Theatre Owners. The growth rate, at 0.4%, is close to 2011′s 0.5% — and contrasts with the steep growth in previous years including 5.2% in 2010, 4.5% in 2009, and 4.4% in 2008. But the growth pace accelerated at the end of 2012: Tickets sold for an average of $8.05 in Q4, which is up 2.8% vs the same three month period in 2011. That’s the biggest quarterly jump since fall 2011. The average price in Q3 was $7.78, a 2% drop from the previous year. Ticket prices hit the high point for the year in Q2 when they reached $8.12, up 0.7% from 2011.
The Q3 figure out today from the National Association of Theater Owners represents a 4.2% decline from Q2 (when it was $8.12), and is down 2% vs the same quarter last year ($7.94). The drop is consistent with what we’ve heard so far from exhibition chains that have reported Q3 earnings: Although they raised the prices they charge for tickets, the average is down because they sold fewer premium-priced tickets for 3D and large screen films than they did in the same period last year. NATO says that the average admission payment in the first three quarters of 2012 came to $7.94, which is two cents higher than the full-year figure for 2011. The industry is eager to persuade consumers that it’s still a bargain to go to the movies. The average ticket price in 1972 — $1.70 — would come to $9.41 today after adjusting for inflation, NATO says.
It’s getting a little harder for movie theater owners to boast that they offer an entertainment bargain. The average outlay to watch a movie hit $8.12 in Q2, exceeding the previous quarterly high of $8.01 in the last three months of 2010, according to data released today by the National Association of Theater Owners. The ticket price figure represents the average consumer payment, so it reflects both rising fees that theaters charge as well as how many people pay the extra few bucks to see a movie in 3D or IMAX. By that measure, ticket prices fell in the second half of 2011 — by about 2.9% to an average of $7.83 in Q4. The trend began to change in this year’s Q1; the average ticket price was +1.1% to $7.92. But the price jumped another 2.5% in Q2 helped by 3D hits including Marvel’s The Avengers, Fox’s Prometheus, and Pixar’s Brave. But both the prices, and the rate of increase, vary greatly depending on location and theater chain. For example, Regal reported an average Q2 ticket price of $9.11, +3.2% vs Q1, while Carmike — which focuses on small to mid-sized markets — generated $6.91, +1%.
The average moviegoer paid $7.93 for a ticket last year — just 4 cents more than in 2010, the smallest year-over-year increase since 1994 when prices fell 1.4% — according to data released today by the National Association of Theatre Owners. But another new statistic may strike exhibitors as more ominous: Consumers paid an average of $7.83 in the last three months of the year, down 2.2% from the same period in 2010. The data provide yet more evidence of the overall anemia in the business last year: Total admissions dropped 4.6% to 1.28B and moviegoers spent $10.5B, down 0.6%, according to estimates from SNL Kagan. “It’s been a tough economy for three years now and people are watching their dollars,” says NATO Director of Media & Research Patrick Corcoran. For example, he notes that admissions have been up on Tuesdays, when many theaters offer lower prices than they do on weekends. Ticket prices were up 5.2% in 2010 and 4.5% in 2009.
Chinese officials are considering imposing limits on the price of movie tickets to make them more affordable, the the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported today. Theaters could be required to schedule more half-price screenings. Movie tickets in China can cost anywhere from the equivalent of about $3.17 to as much as $16 depending on the location. Most recent figures average prices range from $5.30 to $6.40. In the U.S. it’s about $8, according to the Wall Street Journal. Chinese prices represent a significantly larger chunk of the country’s average income relative to the United States. China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, known as Sarft, estimated that 2011 box office revenue in Rose 18% to roughly 12 billion yuan, or nearly $1.9 billion, from 10.17 billion yuan in 2010.