The price of movie tickets hit an all-time high last year — $7.93 on average, a four-cent increase from 2010. At the same time, box office earnings sank a full four percent. So what’s going on?

Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners, blames the bloated ticket prices on the glut of 3D and IMAX movies and other specialty formats. In return, cineplex owners saw dropping attendance numbers, causing many to offer more specials and discounted tickets on Tuesday nights.

But it may not have helped — overall, attendance was down a full five percent from the numbers seen the year before.

Some analysts say that rising ticket prices may indeed be responsible for the drop-off, but theater owners blame Hollywood instead, saying the quality of movies released in 2011 simply wasn’t up to snuff.

That said, the dawn of 2012 has brought with it some good news: compared to this time last year, box office revenues and attendance are up about 11 and 12 percent, respectively.

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