Going to the movies just got more expensive
The 3-D rage is prompting movie-theater chains to raise prices.
It's going to cost movie lovers more to go see their favorite films today.
Movie-theater chains Regal Entertainment Group (RGC), Cinemark Holdings (CNK) and AMC Entertainment are raising prices for 3-D films, thanks to big demand for hits like "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland."
Beginning today, prices for adult admission to 3-D movies will jump an average 8.3% at movie theaters across the country, according to BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, who surveyed 10 theaters in different major cities. Greenfield found that IMAX movie tickets will cost people about 10% more, while regular old 2-D movie prices are expected to increase about 4% on average.
Prices will range depending on location, but moviegoers at the Danvers, Mass., AMC theater will see a 21% increase in prices. Prices will rise 11% at the Seattle Regal Thornton Place multiplex and 18% at the AMC Loews Kips Bay theater in New York City, according to reports.
Going to the movies has been a popular means of entertainment during the recession, as consumers cut back on dining out and other more expensive types of entertainment.
3-D movies made up 11% of domestic ticket sales last year, up from 2% in 2008. Box office revenue topped $10 billion for the first time ever in 2009, and movie attendance jumped 5.5% in the U.S. and Canada to 1.42 billion, the highest level in five years, the Journal reported.
Consumers paid an extra $2 to $3 for 3-D shows, but many theaters thought that was too little.
Moviegoers might forgo the 3-D films because of the price hike, according to Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG. "There is definitely a risk here in pushing price too far in a weak economy," Greenfield wrote in a research report on Wednesday, noting that the economy is still struggling.
"This is a truly unique event for the movie industry," Greenfield said. "I can't remember the last time I saw such a major change in ticket pricing."
Some experts say the 3-D boom is a bit overdone. "They're probably overestimating the appeal of 3-D," Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo, a Web site that tracks ticket sales, told CNNMoney.com. "It's more of an industry push than an audience push, at least currently."
Shares of Regal Entertainment were down 5 cents to $18.23, but they are up more than 48% in the past year. Cinemark Holdings stock rose 8 cents to $18.29 per share this morning; the stock is up 104% over the past year.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
As geopolitical tensions threaten to spin out of control, investors are wondering how best to position their portfolios for the global turmoil.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.