Sydney cinemas raise 3D ticket price

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While many Australian cinemas have been sitting on a top 2D price of A$19.50 for some time, two Sydney cinema complexes have bitten the bullet and gone for an A$20 (US$21.30) ticket price. The upscale suburban independent the Cremorne Orpheum and the Palace Norton Street Leichardt set the price rise at the start of April, with plenty of comment in the local press. With half-price Tuesdays, pensioner and student discounts plus various other special offers, Palace says the average ticket price is still only about $12.50. Australian ticket prices can range up to $26.50 for 3D films on large screens and $42.50 for Gold Class. (All prices are Australian $.)

Hoyts Cinemas is set to be floated on the Australian Stock Exchange later this year. The cinemas are currently owned by a private-equity firm. Hoyts has around 18% of the cinema market, while their wholly owned subsidiary Val Morgan Advertising controls about 95% of Australian cinema advertising. The float is expected to raise about $700 million.

Australian films have had their strongest first quarter for many years, with over $14 million at the box office by the end of March. The Railway Man has taken $7.2 million, Wolf Creek 2 has earned a very nice $4.7 million, while Tracks has disappointed at $2.2 million. Even more disappointing is I, Frankenstein with less than $500,000. Just opened is the made-in-Australia U.S. production The Lego Movie with a first week of $8.8 million, coming in ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, also in its first week. Most analysts expect this to be one of the best years yet for Australian-made films. (All figures quoted above are in Australian dollars unless noted otherwise.)

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