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  • Lynn

Why Are Movie Snacks So Expensive?

At this point, smuggle in your own snacks...

Candy, nuts and popcorn.

Just like nearly everyone else in America, I recently went to see the Barbie movie at a theater. After ordering a large popcorn to share with a friend and a small drink, I was flabbergasted when the clerk told me my total was a whopping $19! I hadn't been to a theater since before the beginning the COVID-19 pandemic, so I suppose I forgot how inappropriately expensive the cost of movie concessions is! But, why?


Running a movie theater is expensive: the power bill to constantly run the projectors and the air conditioning, the lease on the building, the cost of having the film delivered, the supplies needed to clean uniforms and maintain the theater, and to pay the employees. The theaters do not make much on ticket sales, as cinema chains sign contracts agreeing to pay 96–99% of the ticket revenue back to the film studio. That leaves one revenue stream: food and drink sales. The cost of movie theater snacks is so exorbitant simply because the cinemas need to sell the concessions at high costs to stay in business.

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