Last year, the average movie ticket cost roughly $8.17 for the average consumer. This year, it looks like studios aren’t the only folks breaking records, as the average ticket price in 2015 just topped that record - with $8.34 now being named as the average going rate.
The Hollywood Reporter announced yesterday that the average ticket price for this year’s third quarter has reached $8.25 a ticket, a figure the publication has down as the highest July – September ticket cost ever. While this is down from last year’s $8.08 figure from 2014’s third quarter, it’s still keeping the 2015 average on track for topping last year’s record setting amount.
Diving in a little further, it looks like this time of year is usually when we’d see the largest spike in averages, as theaters have been cited as raising prices in May and June, which would trickle down to the big ticket releases from July and forward. With Minions, Ant-Man, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol all falling into that release bucket, it’s no surprise that 2015 is looking to top the previous market record. Though that $8.34 figure looks mighty light for what this year will probably entail once all is said and done, especially when November and December hold huge surprises in store for moviegoers worldwide.
The largest indicator is, of course, the internet crushing traffic numbers that have flooded news and ticketing sites following the Star Wars: The Force Awakens ticket and trailer drop events. With Fandango and most major theater chains reporting outages in last night’s ticket buying frenzy, the film has already proven that it’s going to be a beast to compete with on its opening weekend. Of course, that event is occurring in December, and November has its fair share of record-breakers as well. Spectre and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II are both set to crush November expectations with healthy openings and strong grosses, though The Good Dinosaur is expected to make quite a splash as well.
Theatrical exhibitors better ride the wave and invest what they can before the forecasted drought of 2016 hits. While 2015 has left all sectors of the industry high on the hog, you can bet the theaters will be hit the most when next year’s downhill climb goes into full effect. Still, if 2014 can set a record for average ticket price, despite facing a sizable slump itself, then surely 2016 shouldn’t be a problem, right? We’ll see if this foolhardy statement pays off when next year’s crop of would-be blockbusters makes its way into cineplexes. With DC and Marvel both going to market with two new entries into their respective canons, there’s a good chance that 2016 may turn what looks like a weak market into a highly competitive one.
Spectre hits theaters on November 6th; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II drops on November 20; and Star Wars: The Force Awakens raises the stakes on December 18th.