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Movie ticket prices reach new high in U.S. and Canada

If you thought going to the movie theater was more expensive this year, you weren’t imagining it.

Average ticket prices in the U.S. and Canada climbed to an all time high in the second quarter, reaching $8.12, up from $7.92 in the first quarter and $8.06 in the second quarter of 2011, according the National Assn. of Theatre Owners.

That average might seem remarkably low to moviegoers in L.A., where ticket prices are well above $10, but the trade group’s analysis is based on a survey of theaters nationwide and also includes lower-cost matinee tickets and tickets discounted for seniors and students.

The spike in ticket prices reflected the surge in premium-priced 3-D and Imax ticket sales from such movies as “The Avengers,” “Men in Black 3" and “Brave.”

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“We had just some big 3-D pictures and a lot of people attended them,” said Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for the trade association.

Still, average ticket prices rose during a quarter when box office revenue dropped 1.2%, to $2.8 billion, while theater admissions dropped 2% to $351.1 million. Year to date, box office revenue is up 5%; admissions have increased 4%.

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