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Movie ticket prices expected to jump

5:09 p.m.: AMC Theaters, which operates the Maple Ridge 8 in Amherst, is also raising its ticket prices. Here's the statement issued by Justin Scott, a Buffalo-area native and the company's director of corporate communications:

“Across our circuit, AMC offers guests many ways to experience and enjoy a movie. Pricing varies based on many factors, including location, time of day, day of week and of course, the sight and sound presentation experience. The range of sight and sound presentation experiences includes traditional 2-D, 3-D, our proprietary ETX, ETX 3-D, IMAX and IMAX 3-D. The technology, production and associated costs behind films presented in the new and emerging formats do indeed cost more, and it is inevitable some of those costs will eventually appear at the box office. Even as those escalate,  we have committed to hold the line as much as possible on our 2-D pricing, as we want to continue offering great value to our guests.”

4:37 p.m.: Here's what BoxOffice.com's Contrino says about how the industry is moving forward with digital films:

<For a listen to Contrino's summary, with a look at recent trends in industry profits, listen here:

4:03 p.m.: The increase in demand for 3-D movies is one of a number of issues causing an increase in movie ticket prices, according to the editor of BoxOffice.com.

With the success of "Avatar," production companies are lining up to jump on the 3-D blockbuster train, though there aren't enough 3-D screens available, said Phil Contrino.

"Any industry that has that high of demand," Contrino said, "they're going to respond to it by basically trying to increase profit even more."

Listen to more of Contrino's explanation of what's causing this situation in the industry:

Because of the short supply of 3-D screens, some movies are actually limited in the amount of money they can make. Here's Contrino with more on that:

Check back soon for more from my interview with Contrino, including what he has to say about what steps the industry is taking.

1:28 p.m.: Jay Ruof, owner of the Hamburg Palace Theater, an independent theater, predicted the ticket increases would have relatively little effect on the movie-going public.

"When you jump a couple of dollars, that's when people really notice," Ruof said, "especially when they're bringing their family."

Ruof has no plans to raise his theater's ticket prices, which are $4 and $5. The only way prices would go up, he said, was if he started to accept credit cards. Then he might raise prices by $.50 a ticket. There's been no final decision and no timetable for that.

"We're staying the same," he said. "We're cheap."

Peter Dow of Amherst, who brought his two sons to see "How to Train Your Dragon" this afternoon, the ticket increase isn't a big deal because a trip to the movies is a rare occurence for him.

Dow said he usually streams movies from the web or watches them on his Blu-ray player.

"The family factor changes the way you consume media," he said.

For one woman heading to the Elmwood Regal this afternoon who did not want to give her name, she said she will bring her grandchildren to the movies regardless of what happens to ticket prices.

"It doesn't matter what it costs," she said.

12:14 p.m.: NORTH BUFFALO -- Ticket prices at the Regal Elmwood went up $.50 per ticket today for both 2-D and 3-D movies.

Prices for an evening showing of a 3-D film is now $13.50 for adults, up from $13, or an increase of about 3.8 percent.

The cost for a ticket for a 3-D matinee showing is now $11.50 for adults, up from $11, or a 4.5 percent increase.

The price of a 2-D ticket for an evening show went up to $10 from $9.50, up 5 percent.

A ticket for a 2-D matinee is now $8, up from $7.50, an increase of about 6.7 percent.

Prices are slightly lower for children and seniors, but those box office prices have also gone up.

A sign for employees behind the counter of the ticket booth noted the increases were effective today.

A call to Regal's corporate offices has not yet been returned.

11:05 a.m.: A number of national media outlets are reporting a rise in movie ticket prices this weekend.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting tickets for 3-D flicks in major cities will jump about 8 percent. The cost for tickets to regular, 2-D movies is about half of that, the paper reports.

USA Today is reporting tickets for the new film "How to Train Your Dragon" has jumped by as much as 26 percent in some locations.

We're checking with local theaters to see what's happening here, if anything.

--Aaron Besecker

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