The National Alliance of Theater Owners, aka NATO, announced this week that the average price for a movie ticket in the United States has risen to 3.7 percent since 2016. The average price for a movie was $8.65 and now is up to $8.93. The news comes after a disastrous year at the box office that saw attendance at the lowest it's been in 24 years. The year started off and ended strong with Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but overall, the year was not kind to the box office.
At the current average price of $8.93, that makes for an estimated 1.23 billion tickets sold. However, that number does not include some of the premium pricing from areas like New York and Los Angeles. NATO reports that 2017 was the lowest attended box office year since 1993 when Jurassic Park hit theaters with an estimated 1.4 billion tickets sold. The box office slide is nothing new and many theaters have been trying new promotions to get people into the theaters. For instance, with Regal Cinemas, moviegoers were able to buy a Golden Wonder Woman pass that allowed a person to see the movie as many times as they wanted.
Other promotions have started to crop up or slash prices in an effort to drive business up. Subscription service, Movie Pass, recently cut their monthly cost in half, angering theater owners while making moviegoers excited to hit see movies on the big screen again. It is not clear how Movie Pass and other subscription services will affect attendance in 2018, but highly anticipated movies like Black Panther, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2 could be just the shot in the arm that the box office needs.
As previously noted, 2017 started off strong in Quarter 1, but was later offset by a dismal summer that not even Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could have saved. Even the big boom in the fall thanks to IT wasn't able to fully boost attendance in a satisfying way, even though the movie broke all kinds of fall box office records. As a whole, NATO reports that 2017 movie attendance was down by 92 million when compared to 2016.
Attendance has been on a downward trend since 2005, but there were little bumps of success in 2012 and 2015. Regardless, attendance is down for a variety of factors and the big screen doesn't hold the allure that it once had for the general public since they can pretty much watch anything in the world with a few clicks online. Though the box office has seen quite a bit of fallout, revenue was still up over $11 billion for the third consecutive year in a row. These numbers and statistics were originally reported by The Wrap.