Movie Ticket Sales Last Year Lowest Since 1996

Although ever-growing ticket price inflation somewhat masks the slowdown, fewer people are going to movie theaters. Sales slumped to 1.35 billion in 2010, a 5.4 percent drop from 2009 and the lowest mark since 1.33 billion tickets were sold in 1996. Revenues were still high, surpassing $10 billion for the second time ever, thanks to high ticket costs and 3D surcharges.

USA Today reports the average movie ticket price was the highest ever, at $7.85. Back in 1996, tickets averaged $4.42. Rocketing prices are only part of the reason fewer people are braving movie theaters. Increased access to streaming movies and shorter windows from theatrical release to appearance on home video are other major factors.

Did you see fewer movies last year than in previous years? If so, what kept you away?

Hollywood finishes dismal box-office year [USA Today via Hollywood Elsewhere]