It's not difficult to make out the handwriting on the wall. Box office revenue for the first quarter of 2013 is down more than 11 percent from the first quarter of 2012. Attendance is down more than 12 percent. And, according to the Fitch Ratings Service, things are not likely to improve much between now and the end of the year. On Wednesday, the credit rating agency predicted that theatrical revenue will fall this year due primarily to the growing public dissatisfaction with 3D premium pricing. The study indicated that a surge in attendance last year was likely propelled by 3D. However, it said, the initial excitement has dwindled, and consumers are focused again on the overall quality of the film and are weighing the cost of a premium ticket versus a base 2D ticket. The study also warned that the added costs of 3D movies may cause moviegoers to alter their entertainment patterns. Going to the movies remains one of the lower-cost forms of entertainment, the study said. However, increased pricing, particularly on 3D films, may erode this perception over time.
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