Average movie ticket price jumps 8%

Apparently Hollywood didn't get the memo that prices are supposed to stay low in a slumping economy.

The National Assn. of Theatre Owners reported Tuesday that the average ticket price in the first quarter was $7.95, up 8% from $7.35 in the same period last year. That's the largest year-over-year increase since the association started tracking quarterly ticket price data in 2001.

The increase comes as consumer prices have risen modestly in the nation. In 2009, the consumer price index rose just 2.7% before seasonal adjustment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The primary culprit at movie theaters is 3-D. The three highest-grossing movies in the first three months of 2010 — "Avatar," "Alice in Wonderland" and "How to Train Your Dragon" — generated the majority of their ticket sales on digital 3-D screens, which carry ticket price surcharges.

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Film Business


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