It’s been a brutal summer at the box office for the major studios and fans looking for a good time in the theatre. And now, according to a report from The National Association of Theatre Owners, via a report from Variety, average ticket prices in the U.S. have hit an all-time high, thanks in a large part to the premium formats like IMAX and 3D for box office juggernauts like Finding Dory and Captain America: Civil War.
In the report, the organization’s calculations state that ticket costs were at an average of $8.73 in the second quarter of 2016, a period that included The Jungle Book, Alice Through the Looking Glass, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Warcraft. While $8.73 might sound cheap in certain parts of the country, admission is often twice that in New York City. The data is pulled from all markets including smaller and more remote ones where the cost of living is lower in general.
The cost of admission is about 1.4% higher than the same timeframe last year, when Inside Out, Jurassic World, Furious 7, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Avengers: Age of Ultron were in theaters and the ticket prices averaged out to $8.61.
The previous record was $8.70, set in the fourth quarter of 2015 with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Martian, Spectre, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 among the major titles released during that time.
The higher prices don’t make up for the fact that overall attendance is down with ticket sales falling 9.5% from the second quarter of last year, thanks to a string of high-profile flops and disappointments. However, audiences are paying more when they do end up at the theatre, shelling out extra coin for formats such as IMAX, 3D, and other premium experiences, including 4DX and AMC Prime. Those high end, fancy formats aren’t going anywhere, so we can probably look forward to another discussion on the ticket hikes happening all over again in a few months when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters.