3D killing movie attendance figures

This summer saw US movie theatres hit the lowest audience attendance figures in 5 years. Movie website Hollywood.com says that the overall number of tickets sold is estimated to be around 552 million. The previous lowest, in 2005, was 563.2 million. And it is believed that 3D is to blame.

Ticket prices have taken a hike for major 3D blockbusters, such as Clash of the Titans, Toy Story 3 and Shrek Forever. The average cinema ticket in the States is now $7.88 (£5.10) an increase of 5 per cent - 38 cents (25p) - since 2009.

It's a trend that has been aped by UK cinemas too, although, in some cases, the prices have gone even higher. Some Pocket-lint readers have even reported that their local Odeon cinema is now charging £1 extra for 3D glasses, on top of an already inflated ticket price (over 2D movies).

Certainly, it helps to explain that, while attendance levels go down, box-office takings are going up.

It is believed that the US box-office receipts rose by $100 million (£64.9 million) this summer over last. And that the 3D version of Toy Story 3 has now taken over $1 billion worldwide.

Some, though, are suggesting that, rather than price hikes being the cause of absentees, it is the quality of movies released this year, or lack thereof: "Audiences were underwhelmed, and they voted with their absence", said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

"If you asked most people what they thought of the quality of the movies, it's kind of a so-so summer".

What do you think? Is 3D worth the extra money? And have you been "underwhelmed" by the movie releases this summer? Let us know in the comments below...



>