US movie theater tickets receive biggest price increase ever

Despite peer-to-peer piracy and other overblown threats of competition, the movie industry has seen record box office ticket sales from 2007 to 2009 — and 2010 is expected to be even better yet.

How is this going to happen?

The revenue will stem from higher ticket prices Hollywood wants to increase even further throughout 2011 and beyond.

If more people are willing to stay home and stream/rent movies, movie studios that generate revenue based on ticket sales typically panic. There are a number of issues away from piracy that cause an increase in movie theater ticket prices, analysts say, though all factors contribute.

For example, slumping movie sales, piracy and file sharing, the bad economy, and more expensive film development also lead to increased prices.

Once the movie ticket price is paid (avg. price of $7.50 per ticket), the cost of popcorn, soda and other items from the concessions can easily total $10+ per movie. A date for two could easily cost $25+ for tickets and snacks, plus gas and commute times.

A recent new factor that is contributing to the problem, however, is the increase in 3D movies being screened in the United States. These 3D movies carry a price premium even more than the already high “regular” movie ticket prices.

“The big question is going to be what happens in October and November,” TheWrap was told. “Once we get away from the big tentpole movies, what’s going to happen with (3D) movies like ‘Jackass 3D’ and ‘Megamind’?”

As mentioned by the source, the addition of 3D movies are causing ticket prices to jump even more — but movie fans already think 3D movie prices are too high. In July, 77% of people responding to a research study indicated a $4 premium added to the movie price is too high.

It’s up to Hollywood to make appealing films that will draw movie viewers into the theater, but if ticket prices spike too high, movie watchers might skip going out to enjoy their home theaters instead.