It was only a few days ago that we published findings from research that determined movie ticket prices are the reason why theater attendance was so incredibly low in 2014. Now statistics have come in that really only enforce that point, as the average ticket price last year was $8.17 - an all-time high.
News of these figures have come our way from The Hollywood Reporter, which adds that prices were especially high in the second and fourth quarter of last year, where the average prices were at $8.33 and $8.30, respectively. The numbers come directly from the National Association of Theatre Owners, which is a trade organization with members comprised of owners of both major chains and independent operators.
Compared to 2013's average ticket price of $8.13, 2014's number doesn't really seem that significant, but it does stand out when you look at it compared to what it was seven years ago. In 2007, the average movie ticket price was $6.88, which means that the cost has gone up $1.42 in that time. That's pretty huge when you consider how much slower the number used to rise. In fact, between 1990 and 1997, the price only went up 36 cents, moving from $4.23 to $4.59 (according to Box Office Mojo).
Given these numbers and aforementioned complaints that movie tickets cost too much, it's not exactly a surprise that 2014's theater attendance numbers were so brutal. Last year only 1.26 billion people wound up going to the movies, which was the lowest number since 1995. This goes a long way in explaining why no domestic release made more than $350 million at the box office this year (and why only two titles - Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - made more than $300 million).
It will be interesting to see how things wind up changing in 2015. It's admittedly pretty hard to believe that we may actually see a drop in average ticket prices, but this year's schedule is packed with some absolutely huge blockbusters - including both Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron and J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens. No movie released in 2014 has the kind of buzz those two titles have, which could seriously propel numbers. Also, this year we will also see Pixar come back with two brand new releases, and those - along with the Minions movie in the summer - should do the trick when it comes to getting families to the movies. Audiences may feel okay with paying a bit extra for these anticipated titles.
Has the price of movie theater tickets near you ever affected your decision to go see a movie? Do you plan on completely ignoring that factor where the biggest films of 2015 are concerned? Tell us what you're thinking in the comments below.