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January 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Two veteran media analysts, Anthony DiClemente of Barclays Capital and Eric Handler of MKM Partners, are predicting a small increase at the domestic box office in 2012 — not as a result of a more exciting film slate attracting more moviegoers but as a result of higher ticket prices. As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Handler was the more optimistic, predicting 3 percent growth for the year, with a 7-percent boost over last year in the first quarter. DiClemente was less bullish, predicting a 1.5-percent increase. But BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield is not so sanguine. “We believe consumers are tiring of expensive, premium-priced movie experiences, particularly when combined with an increasingly unsatisfying exhibition experience,” he wrote. And while moviegoers might still be willing to shell out top dollar for one or two outstanding movies in 3D or IMAX per year, most other movies carrying premium prices will likely be spurned, Greenfield predicted. “We expect movie attendance to fall yet again in 2012,” he wrote. “More importantly, we believe attendance is now in secular decline in the U.S.” [In business-speak, “secular” is defined as a persistent trend.]