The Biggest Ripoff At The Movies Isn't Tickets--What Is It?

September 30, 2016 by Sara Alderman
shefinds | Style

The shocking revelations about movie theatre popcorn just keep rolling in. First, we found out that it is probably the worst thing you could put in your body and now, CNN Money is claiming movie theatre popcorn to be one of “America’s Biggest Rip-offs.” Yes, even more than your $15 ticket.

We pay at least $6 for a medium-sized bag of popcorn, which actually only costs 60 cents to make–that’s a 900% markup! Turns out, movie theatres don’t really make money from ticket sales (which likely go to the movie’s production), so over-charging for popcorn, that is worse for you than lard, is how they can empty our pockets. Nice.

Richard McKenzie, an economics professor at the University of California-Irvine and author of the 2008 book “Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies: And Other Pricing Puzzles,” found that only a small percent of your movie ticket sale actually goes to the theatre. “Popcorn is what pays for a lot of stuff in the movie theater,” he writes. “A lot of theater owners tell me, ‘I consider myself working in concessions, not movies.”

Movie theatre popcorn, letting us down since 2016.

[Photo: Shutterstock]


Sara Alderman has covered topics from fashion to beauty and beyond.

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