Movie attendance slumps to 16-year low

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28525 full

Movie attendance across the U.S. hit a 16-year low in 2011, its second major plummet in as many years.

Box office tracker recently released its 2011 numbers, and the curtain may have finally fallen on the movie theater money stream. Audiences bought 1.28 billion tickets in North America in 2011, the lowest amount of tickets sold since 1995.

Box office revenue, at $10.2 billion, was down nearly 4 percent from last year- despite (or perhaps because of) more 3D and IMAX "premium" tickets.

A few high-profile films did well. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” earned more than $380 million domestically and over $1 billion worldwide. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” came in second with over $350 million, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” came in third.

Overseas business helped to make up for shrinking domestic revenues and declining DVD sales, but 2011 was the second year in a row that U.S. attendance declined.

Spiking ticket prices have also played a role, Paul Dergarabedian of told CNN. The average ticket price has jumped from $6.88 to $7.96 in the past four years- an 80 percent bump up from the price in 1995.

Even Adam Sandler, one of the most bankable stars, had a mixed year. “Jack and Jill” barely made $70 million.

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