The average price of a movie ticket has officially hit a record high in the U.S. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), a single movie ticket set back moviegoers, on average, $9.38 during the second quarter of 2018. That's up from $9.16 during the first quarter of the year and makes the average ticket price so far for the year a whopping $9.27, up 4 percent when compared to the same period in 2017, when prices averaged $8.90. Even though prices are on the rise, things are actually looking up in many ways.
Despite the price spike, attendance is up significantly when compared to the same timeframe for 2017. According to NATO, admissions were up by more than 17 percent. Theater owners have been struggling with attendance in recent years, so the fact that attendance has seen such a sharp spike is good news for those who don't want to see the theater experience threatened. People between the ages of 18 and 44 accounted for 65 percent of the revenue generated in the second quarter of 2018. So young people are actually bailing on Netflix occasionally to actually go to the movies.
Box office takes in the U.S. are also way ahead of where they were in 2017 at this point, which makes sense given that theater attendance is up. Much of that has to do with massive hits such as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2. There are also movies like A Quiet Place, Ocean's 8 and Peter Rabbit that all made more than $100 million domestically without the baggage that comes with a $100 million or more blockbuster budget.
Part of the increase could be thanks to services like MoviePass. They allow moviegoers to go to the movies much more often for a single monthly fee. Yet, MoviePass for example, still pays full price for the tickets. Even though their business model has been criticized, they have more than three million subscribers and that's had to have helped boost these numbers at least a little bit. Theater chains such as AMC and the Alamo Drafthouse has followed suit and are now making their own subscription service plans. So even if MoviePass folds, the chance is here to stay and should help to keep theater attendance up.
One last, interesting thing to note is that the price increase may not be as bad as it seems. As NATO points out, inflation has more or less kept ticket prices the same over the years. In 1977, when people were flocking to go see Star Wars, the average movie ticket price was $2.33. When adjusted for inflation, that translates to about $9.26. That's just a few cents lower than where we're at now. So even though the prices are higher, they've pretty much been consistent. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.