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Box Office

Not good. Movie ticket prices rise 5% in 2010

Ticket prices have risen 40 cents (5%) this year, while attendance has fallen 1%, according to a new report by TheWrap. Even with stagnant attendance, Hollywood is set to bring in more than the $10.6 billion it brought in last year by a good margin. The scape-goat for high prices: 3D.

“There’s certainly not much room for the price increasing further,” said an exhibition-chain executive who, like everyone else TheWrap spoke to for this story, was unwilling to lend his name to a discussion on the sensitive topic of movie prices. “The big question is going to be what happens in October and November. Once we get away from the big tentpole movies, what’s going to happen with (3D) movies like ‘Jackass 3D’ and ‘Megamind’?

Another executive told a different, more positive story.

“I don’t think there’s been any pushback,” one major-studio distribution president told TheWrap. “Look at how the box office has been flourishing. Admissions aren’t up the way we’d like them to be, but the market has accepted the higher ticket prices. You can’t expect to pay $5 to go to the movies anymore.”

In the end, he's right. Summer box office is up 3%. While the jury is still out on 3D's effectiveness at drawing eyeballs, no one can deny that people are still going to the movies, despite rising costs. Now if we could only get Hollywood to make more Inceptions and fewer movies based on shit from the 1980s, we'd be set.

Still, there has to be a boiling point. Would you go see a movie if it cost $20 bucks a ticket? In certain markets, 3D ticket prices have almost reached this point. Movies may not be the cheap date they once were. 

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