What's to blame for the increasing cost of attending the movies -- y'know, besides the increasing cost of everything, ever? Think of it as a trickle-down issue: studios are producing more and more blockbusters, which cost more and more money (see the budgets of "John Carter" and "Battleship" for examples); exhibitors are upgrading to digital projection and, often times, require 3D projectors to screen the blockbusters; and consumers are getting left with at least some of the bill. 3D tickets cost, on average, $3 more than regular tickets.
That's not to say all hope is lost: ticket prices dropped to $7.83 in the fourth quarter of 2011, which could mean a leveling off in 2012; after all, ticket prices have grown in every year since 1992.
Perhaps that lower national average at the end of the year is helping business: since the ball dropped on 2012, movie attendance has been in an upswing, and many early year releases have done better than anticipated at the box office.