Cost of 3-D movies blamed for attendance at US box office

Posted on 2 September 2010
By Luke McGovern
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US box office attendances have dropped to their lowest in five years this summer, despite a $100m (£64.9m) rise cinema receipts, figures have shown.

Movie website reported the actual number of tickets sold was expected to be 552m – the lowest since 2005, when the figure was 563.2m.

The drop in attendances is thought to be linked with the rise in admission prices, mainly for 3D screenings.

3D movies such as Toy Story 3, Clash Of The Titans and Shrek Forever After are largely responsible, with cinemas charging around three pound per person more than for a regular 2D film.

Janine Hancock, 42, a restaurateur from Liverpool regularly takes her two children to the cinema, she said: “I try to take the kids as often as possible. We went to see Toy Story 3 a couple of weeks ago and Shrek a week before that.

“But it’s getting too expensive, especially at these big multiplexes’. By the time you’ve bought your tickets, popcorn, drinks and 3D glasses your left with an empty purse.”

Rachel Fennell, 22, a student from Leeds shares the opinion that cinema admission prices are too high: “I normally go twice a month. Orange Wednesdays are good so I try to make the most of them, but on a normal day prices are ridiculous.”

The cost of an average US cinema ticket rose by 5% over the last 12 months, according to The National Association of Theatre Owners.

Cinema-goers now pay an average of $7.88 (£5.10) per ticket, a rise of 38 cents (25 pence) from 2009.

Toy Story was the only film this summer to top the $400 million (£259 million) mark at the box office.

Iron Man 2 shot past $300 million (£194 million) while Inception, Shrek Forever After and Despicable Me topped $200 million (£129 million).

But not all releases lived up to their hype. Sex and the City 2, The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice all failed to live up to their billing and flopped at box Office.

Colin Croft, 26, a trainee accountant from Liverpool believes that there simply are not enough quality films being made: “I look at the cinema listings now and there just isn’t anything that makes me want to get up and go to the cinema.

“I think cinema makers are just getting lazy and are churning out films that are all very similar. If I see another Rom Com advertised with Ashton Kutcher or a Horror with some possessed kid, I’d rather just stay home and watch Emmerdale.”