Average movie ticket price hits all-time high in 2017 (but it’s still technically cheaper than in 1977)

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Jan 18, 2018, 9:52 AM EST

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has announced (via Variety) that the average movie ticket price rose significantly, from $8.65 to $8.97, in 2017 (a 3.7% increase), with those figures soaring $8.79 to $9.18 toward the end of the year.

Although, while the ticket prices appear to have skyrocketed in 2017, they’re still technically cheaper than tickets were back in 1977 if you adjust for inflation. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, a ticket then would have cost $2.23, which is the equivalent of $9.40 today.

Still, NATO stated that expensive tickets for tentpole movies, notably Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as well as awards season titles, helped boost the figures in the final quarter of the year.

“Q4 saw a preponderance of sales in films offered in 3D and large format screens (all of the five highest-grossing films and seven of the top 12), as well as a large number of adult-skewing awards-contending films,” NATO said in a statement.

While ticket prices were up last year, actual movie admissions went down 6 percent to 1.24 billion, the lowest reported number since 1995, with NATO blaming disappointing summer movie releases at the box office.

“2017 highlighted once again the importance of a balanced, 52 week movie calendar. A record Q1 (in box office and admissions) was offset by a disappointing summer, with a range of sequels that were not embraced by audiences in the numbers we are accustomed to. Summer 2017 was 92 million admissions short of summer 2016. An unusually empty August accounted for half of summer 2017’s shortfall,” the statement added.

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