Published March 26, 2014
Americans might love a good summer blockbuster or horror franchise, but the fact of the matter is, fewer people are going to the movies.
The number of movie tickets sold fell by 1.5% in 2013, according to a new report from the Motion Picture Association of America to 1.34 billion from 1.36 billion.
But it’s not all bad news: Due to higher prices, ticket sales increased to $10.9 billion from $10.8 billion in 2012.
The report says tickets sold fell nearly 11% from 2004 through 2013, but box office revenue ticked up 17%.
Personal finance expert Andrea Woroch says it’s no surprise Americans are cutting back on their movie outings as we alter out spending habits. “People are more frugal and going to the movies can get really expensive for families with tickets, concessions and more.”
The ability to stream and watch content from the comfort of your own home is also more convenient, she adds. .
“You can quickly rent a new release for $5 sometimes through iTunes,” she says. “For a family of four, that’s a big savings. To host a movie night at home instead can decrease the price in going to the movies.”
While in some areas, ticket prices can be well over $10, the average U.S. ticket price in 2013 was $8.13 up from $7.96 in 2012, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.
Woroch says if prices were to decrease or stabilize, more Americans would be interested in attending the movies.
“It’s a fun night out, and a good way to bond with your family,” she says. “The Motion Picture Association of America would have to figure out a way to do that without losing money.”
In the meantime, for Americans looking to save on their entertainment costs, Woroch suggests going on bargain nights as well as attending matinee showings. Movie theater chains also have apps that offer rewards for freebies and discounted tickets.
“I always buy discounted movie theater cards, which offer huge savings, on sites like GiftCardGranny.com,” she says. “If your family does this, you can maximize savings.