Average movie ticket price hits all-time high
The average movie ticket has hit a record high of $8.70. The National Association of Theatre Owners said Tuesday that was the average ticket price in the fourth quarter of 2015. It's up 40 cents, or almost 5 percent, from the same period the year prior. Over the full year of 2015, the average ticket cost $8.43. The averages cover theaters across the country and showings at all times of day. Propelling ticket prices higher have been various large-format screenings and premium seating options, which pull in moviegoers for blockbusters like "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Jurassic World." Last year, box office revenue hit a record $11.1 billion.
Vail Resorts buys Wisconsin property
Vail Resorts says it has acquired the Wilmot Mountain ski area in Wisconsin, between Milwaukee and Chicago. The Broomfield, Colo.-based company said Tuesday it plans to improve terrain parks, instruction, dining, snow-making, parking and other aspects of the resort. The price of the sale wasn't disclosed. Wilmot is 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee and 65 miles north of Chicago. Vail Resorts says Wilmot currently has 25 trails, four terrain parks, a tubing hill, a ski and snowboard school and a ski racing program. Wilmot will be included in the company's Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass for the 2016-2017 season. Vail Resorts owns two other urban resorts, Afton Alps near Hastings, Minn., and Mount Brighton near Detroit.
Bank of America reports higher profits
Bank of America reported higher profits on better performance in consumer banking and lower costs, but the bank acknowledged that it is struggling to increase revenue despite an improving U.S. economy. Bank of America said Tuesday it earned a profit of $3.01 billion, or 28 cents per share, after payment of dividends to preferred shareholders. That's an improvement of nearly 10 percent over the $2.74 billion, or 25 cents per share the bank earned during the same period last year. The results beat expectations. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 27 cents per share, on average. For the year, Bank of America earned $14.41 billion, up from $3.38 billion a year earlier.
GM buys Sidecar's technology, assets
In a second step this month to position itself for on-demand ride-hailing, General Motors has acquired the technology and assets of Sidecar Technologies, a San Francisco-based ride-hailing service that shut down at the end of 2015. On Jan. 4, GM announced an investment of $500 million in Lyft, the second-largest provider of on-demand rides after Uber. Dan Ammann, GM president, will join Lyft's board of directors. Separately, GM has filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to use the name Maven "for application software for connecting vehicle drivers and passengers and for coordinating transportation services." The application states that Maven also would engage in the rental of vehicles, bicycles and motorized bicycles, scooters and other transportation services for people and freight.