"The Dark Knight Rises," the most successful movie in the third… (Warner Bros. )
Moviegoers got some mild relief in the third quarter as the average price for tickets in the U.S. edged downward.
The average ticket price for the three-month period ended Sept. 30 was $7.78, down from a record high of $8.12 in the second quarter and $7.94 a year earlier, according to the National Assn. of Theatre Owners.
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. As a result, the average ticket price is well below what moviegoers pay in L.A., where admission fees are above $10.
Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for the theater association, attributed the decline to fewer 3-D movies, which command higher ticket prices. The biggest movie in the third quarter, "The Dark Knight Rises," was not shown in 3-D.
Box office revenue fell 7.2% in the quarter while theater admissions in the U.S. dropped by 5%, compared with the same period a year ago.
Year to-date-admissions are still up 3.75% compared with 2011, and the industry is expecting a strong fourth quarter led by "The Hobbit," "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," and "Skyfall," Corcoran said.
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