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Going to the movies has proven to be a relatively costly endeavor, especially when factoring in the price of concessions, for those who believe a bucket of popcorn, a drink and maybe some candy should be part of the experience. And from what's being reported, movie tickets are only getting more expensive. In fact, the average price for tickets has reached an all-time high.

According to the LA Times, the average ticket prices in North America has inched up a bit, moving to an all time high at $8.12, which is up from $7.92 in the first quarter ($8.06 in the second quarter of 2011). This, according to the National Association of Theater Owners or NATO. As someone who regularly pays upwards of $10 for a movie ticket at the local mall cineplex (more for 3D), $8.12 seems remarkably low, even for the "average." But as the Times notes, this figure includes the lower-priced matinees and discounted tickets for seniors and students, which would pull that average down. According to what NATO has on their website, the average cost of a movie ticket in 2002 was $5.80.

News of an increase in cost isn't all that surprising when factoring in inflation. With that said, I can't help but think it would be nice if the cost of movie tickets fluctuated a bit more, as home video prices tend to. I recently bought Role Models on blu-ray for $7.99 (less than the average cost of a movie ticket, before taxes). Granted, that's a three-year-old movie, but still, those on a budget might consider renting or even buying a DVD/blu-ray and spending a more cost-efficient night at home in front of the TV, rather than shelling out the cash for a night out at the movies. And the alternate argument to that is that there's nothing quite like seeing a movie for the first time on the big screen. It's just not getting any cheaper to do it.

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