The US has seen its cinema admissions bounce back 5.5 per cent in 2018 to 1.3 billion, after 2017 saw its lowest since 1995, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) reports.

The box office for the year hit $11.85bn (£9.1bn/€10.4bn) after jumping 6.9 per cent, NATO said on Wednesday.

Ticket sales in North American cinemas peaked in 2002 with 1.57 billion, the highest admission in the past 30 years, but declined over the next two years to 1.48 billion.

In 2018, the average ticket price increased by 1.6 per cent from $8.97 to $9.11, while NATO reported that the biggest demographic jump in cinema-goers during 2018 took place in the 55 and up group, with the share surging from 5.8 per cent to 6.4 per cent of the total box office. The 10 and under group saw the biggest demographic decline, from 6.9 per cent to 6.1 per cent.

NATO spokesman Patrick Corcoran said the wide range of titles led to the increase in moviegoing in 2018: “When the movies are there, people show up, and when you have a broad range of titles, a broad range of audiences show up,” he said, according to Variety. “From top to bottom – ‘Black Panther’ on down to four documentaries bringing in more than $10m each – you build a big audience through lots of different audiences of all sizes.”

Image: philld