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Despite slumping box office, movie ticket prices rise in third quarter

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Much has been made of 2014’s lagging box-office results, but that hasn’t stopped theater owners from charging a premium for a seat this summer.

NATO, or the National Association of Theater Owners, released data about ticket prices in 2014’s third quarter, and compared to last year at the same time, prices were actually up. For the months of July, August and September, the average ticket price was $8.08, which is a bit above 2013’s $7.84 price at the same time.

The number is down from the second quarter’s average price in 2014, however, which came in at $8.38. The rise in relation to last year’s price may have to do with 2014’s many 3D and IMAX films that were aimed at wider audiences.

Hits like Guardians of the GalaxyTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes all released in this year’s third quarter. The big audiences spawning several demographics that they attracted were likely causes for the elevated ticket prices.

2013’s full average ticket price came in at $8.13, while 2014’s is currently at $8.12, so 2014’s fourth quarter prices will determine whether the 2014 average surpasses last year’s. It will be a much more difficult task to catch up to last year’s overall box office haul, however, as 2014 currently sits at almost $3 billion under 2013’s total.

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