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Father's Day is a big day for going to the movies

If you're having trouble figuring out what to get your father this year, you could always consider sitting with him quietly in a dark room. Or in a restaurant.

The average person will spend about $126 on Father's Day this year, up from $116 last year, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation. That comes out to a record $14.3 billion nationwide.

Apparently, a popular purchase is movie tickets. Credit card spending on those items the week of Father's Day saw a bigger boost last year than any other category, according to data from Cardlytics, which tracks spending on one out of every four credit cards in the country. That weekend was the fourth-highest grossing box office weekend of 2015, and was also among the best performing the two years before.

According to Cardlytics, last year consumers spent about 7 percent more in the six weeks leading up to Father's Day than they did in a normal week, and about 80 percent more on movies during the week of Father's Day. Restaurants also pulled out ahead with a 12 percent increase, making more money above average overall in those weeks than any other spending category.

Watches and sporting goods also saw a boost the week of Father's Day, while golf-related gifts tended to be bought a few weeks in advance. Overall, Father's Day gifts tend to be purchased a few weeks before the holiday; Mother's Day gifts are more likely to be bought at the last minute (there are always flowers).

Aside from greeting cards, the most popular gifts consumers said they were planning to give fathers was a "fun activity/experience," including getting dinner and other outings. In recent years, those experience gifts have been growing in popularity in the survey results, adding billions of dollars in expected spending.

That said, Father's Day surveys purporting to know what fathers actually want are notoriously unreliable, and often function more as marketing ploys than useful sources of information. In CNBC's roundup last year, the survey that seemed most reliable was RetailMeNot, which puts "time with family" right at the top of most men's lists.

During the week of Father's Day, spending at expensive restaurants skyrockets, according to Cardlytics' data. A consumer is 23 percent more likely to dine at a restaurant where the average bill is $60 or more, and 23 percent more likely to eat at the most expensive tier of restaurants. At the same time, they spend substantially less at cheaper restaurants in those weeks.

So if you're one of the many procrastinators out there still trying to find the perfect gift, perhaps consider the classic: dinner and a movie. If you run a restaurant or a movie theater, now may be a good time for Father's Day specials.