Moviegoers may balk at the cost of buying popcorn and soda at the multiplex, but they're at least getting some relief when it comes to ticket prices this year.
Average movie ticket prices at U.S. theaters dropped to $7.94 in the first quarter, down from $8.05 in the fourth quarter of 2012 and up slightly from $7.92 in the first quarter of 2012, according to the latest data from the National Assn. of Theatre Owners.
Average ticket prices reached a record high of $8.12 in the second quarter of last year.
The trade association's ticket-price figures are unusually low by Los Angeles standards because they are based on data from across the country and include lower-priced matinee and children's tickets.
Ticket prices rise and fall depending on the mix of movies. The dip in the first quarter may reflect fewer 3-D and large-format releases, reflecting a dearth of family-oriented movies at the beginning of the year.