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3-D films boost movie ticket sales by 8 percent

The appeal of 3-D movies helped boost movie ticket sales by nearly 8 percent to a record $29.9 billion worldwide in 2009, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

The jump, from $27.8 billion a year earlier, was driven by a rise in ticket prices and the first increase in attendance in the United States and Canada in two years, the MPAA said. Also, theaters worldwide benefited from the popularity of 3-D movies, as they brought in more moviegoers, who buy tickets that cost more than regular screenings.

"Whenever screens are converted or built in 3-D the public seems to be embracing it," said Bob Pisano, the MPAA's president.

There were 20 movies released in 3-D last year, including the blockbuster "Avatar" and animated "Up." That's an increase from eight in 2008.

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