Movie Ticket Sales Up in 2012; Industry Cites Value vs. Sports, Theme Parks

Despite an increasing number of alternative forms of entertainment as technology continues to advance, the motion picture industry reminds us that movie theaters continue to draw more people than all theme parks and major U.S. sports combined. Noting that the average cinema ticket price increased by 3 cents in 2012, less than the 2% increase in inflation, the industry uses the comparisons to highlight the dollar value they provide to families nationwide.  Comparisons to other forms of entertainment, including video games and internet programming, was not included in the industry’s “Theatrical Market Statistics 2012” report.

A movie “still provides the most affordable entertainment option,” costing under $40 dollars for a family of four, according to the Motion Picture Association of America, as compared with $107.92 to attend a major league baseball game, $199.00 to attend one of the nation’s leading theme parks, $203.96 to go to an NBA game, $244.04 at an NHL arena, and $313.52 to attend an NFL game.

More than two-thirds of the population in the U.S. and Canada (age 2+) went to the cinema at least once in 2012, and the “typical moviegoer” bought six tickets during the year, a slight increase from the previous year.  A total of 1.4 billion tickets were sold during the year.

Among the nation’s 12 most populous states, 74 percent of the population of Illinois saw a movie in 2012, the highest share in any of those states.  Data pertaining to Connecticut family of fourwas not released. Cinema ticket sales continue to be driven by frequent moviegoers –those who go to the movies once a month or more. Frequent moviegoers represent 13% of the population but purchased 57% of all tickets sold in 2012.

“I am happy to report thaattendencet in 2012, both global and domestic box office were up and so were domestic admissions,” said former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA. “It’s a powerful reminder of just how much movies matter – not just to our culture, but also to our economy. Our industry supports 2.1 million jobs in the United States and more than 120,000 of those jobs are in movie theaters.”

The  top movies of 2012, by attendance:  The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, Skyfall and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.


Connecticut as College Soccer Hotbed?

Connecticut is well known for its fans devotion to college basketball, but apparently college soccer in the Nutmeg State is gaining some notice as well.  The University of Connecticut finished the 2012 with the second highest average attendance in the nation, with 4,228 fans per game.  That’s just behind UC Santa Barbara, which finished first for the sixth consecutive season, with an average of 5,543 fans per game. Now comes word that the University of Hartford men's soccer team has developed notice in the Greater Hartford soccer community, and it shows in the NCAA's final attendance rankings for the 2012 season. In their seven home games, the Hawks drew an average of 998 fans per game to Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium, which ranked 27th best in Division I men's soccer.  (Season total attendance was 6,985.)

The Hawks drew more fans to their games in 2012 than any other team in the America East. Part of the reason for Hartford's high attendance numbers in 2012 is attributed to support from the Red Army, a student fan group.

In 2011, the University of Hartford’s average game attendance did not reach the top 50 nationally.  UConn was #4 in 2011, averaging 3,600.  College sports historians will recall that UConn was #1 in 2000, 2002, and 2006, the last time any university has outpaced UC Santa Barbara in average game attendance.

Highlighting the Hawks' home slate was their 2012 debut at Alumni Stadium, a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over neighboring rival Central Connecticut State University on Labor Day. Junior Anthony Santaga, who was later named to the America East All-Conference Second Team, scored both UH goals, including the game-winner 147 seconds into the extra period.  The 1,504 spectators who packed themselves in to Alumni Stadium proved to be a record-breaking crowd for the Hartford's men's soccer program.

In case you’re wondering, Maryland (3,153) Akron (2,778) and Cal Poly (2,709) rounded out the top-five in average game attendance during the2012 season.

Norwich Will Host New York-Penn. League All-Star Game in August

A cold winter’s week is the perfect time to think ahead to baseball season.  And if thinking ahead is attractive, there’s nothing better than seeing future major league stars in action on the diamond.  The Norwich Tigers will make that possibility more accessible this year when they host the 2013 New York-Penn League All-Star Celebration. 4aiVsHZ3The 2013 New York-Penn League All-Star Game will take place on Tues. August 13 at 7:35 p.m. at Dodd Stadium in Norwich.

The All-Star Celebration logo honors the community's rich maritime history and it's affiliation with the American League Champion Detroit Tigers. Maritime flags, an anchor and a dock rope make up the nautical logo, combined with classic Tigers old English lettering.

"We're thrilled to be hosting this game," said Vice President/General Manager C.J. Knudsen. "It's a great tribute to our fan base and exciting for all baseball fans throughout the state of Connecticut."

Tickets - now on sale - for the All-Star Celebration Game are the same as the 2013 single game ticket prices: $10.00 for premium seat tickets, $9.00 for reserved seat tickets and $8.00 for grandstand seat tickets.  They can be purchased  online at and at the ticket office at Dodd Stadium.

The 2013 Connecticut Tigers schedule is now available online at and features six Friday fireworks games in addition to five Saturday promotional giveaways. The 2013 season begins on Monday, June 17 against the Lowell Spinners, the NYPL affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, at 7:05 p.m. at Dodd Stadium with fireworks after the game.

In 2012, the Connecticut Tigers ranked #182 in average attendance among all minor league and independent teams, with 1,660 fans per game.  The independent Bridgeport Bluefish were #162, with an average of 2,033 fans attending games, and the Triple-A New Britain Rock Cats were #47 with average home attendance of 5,061.  The top minor league team in the nation was in Lehigh, PA where the Lehigh Valley IronPigs drew 9,153 per game.

The All-Star logo was brought to life at Brandiose in San Diego, where the company generated top selling logos for teams ranging from the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs to America's oldest baseball club, the Cincinnati Reds. T-shirts featuring the All-Star Celebration logo will also be available through the Tigers' official website.

The Connecticut Tigers are the NYPL affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play a 76 game (38 home, 38 away) schedule from late June through early September.  The Dodd Stadium Box Office is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fans that want to purchase tickets may call the Tigers at (860) 887-7962, visit the box office or log on to   Play ball!  (Well, not quite yet.)