I’m a huge movie lover. I watch everything from ‘chick-flicks’ to tough action and from independent foreign language films to Hollywood blockbusters. In fact, I sit in front of my telly ever day drooling over the upcoming movies in the cinema. And now they have made it even better, because they have started making films in 3D. I often wonder if my life could get any better, and then I fall back into a pit of despair because a – I don’t even go to the cinema and b – I don’t own a 3D telly, so I can’t even wait for the movies to be released. You may wonder why a movie lover like me doesn’t go to the cinema and the truth of the matter is that it is because of the expense. I don’t mind so much the price of the tickets, although they are extortionate too, but it’s the price of everything else. You can’t watch a good film without a bucket of popcorn, but unless you take out a second mortgage, you won’t be able to afford it. So, I don’t go. I like to think I am making a political stand anyway.
How Much Does Popcorn Cost?
Popcorn is really cheap. In fact, I try to make my own. I grow corn at home, dry them and then pop them myself in a frying pan. My husband hates that, because some of them always pop out of the pan and end up somewhere in the kitchen, never to be seen again. So, sometimes, I splash out a little bit and get microwaveable popcorn, at around a pound a bag. Or, if we are feeling really plush, I buy a huge bag of pre-popped popcorn. That has to set me back at least $1.25, but it’s worth it, right?
So what about prices in a movie theatre? They were recently investigated by a watchdog and found that prices varied from $3.15 per 100 grams of popcorn to $6.35 for 100 grams of popcorn. Bear in mind that popcorn from a supermarket costs, on average $0.90. Naturally, this is including a supermarket’s profit margin. Taking into consideration that they will buy popcorn in bulk, it would be safe to assume that popcorn should cost around $0.40 per 100 grams.
The Real Deal about Popcorn
In fact, supermarkets who buy popcorn in bulk pay just $0.33 per 100 grams of popcorn. Naturally, cinemas also have to buy boxes to present their popcorn in, but it is possible to buy custom printed boxes for as little as $0.10 per box. Consider now, that most cinemas sell boxes that are only around 62 grams for, on average, $4 per box. This means that the popcorn, with box, should cost them only around $0.31. This means that their profit is around a 1,200% mark up! And that is exactly why I refuse to go to a cinema. I simply refuse to pay a 1,200% profit on popcorn. And no, I don’t want to simply take my own popcorn. Taking my own would be beside the point. I much prefer not going to places that charge ridiculous entrance fees so that actors’ can have their bizarre salaries paid and then charge a 1,200% profit on something as small and innocent as popcorn. I am making a stand and I can only hope that other people will join me in refusing to take part in this moneymaking scheme. We live in a recession after all.
It should be noted that cinemas do have very high overhead costs. However, I personally don’t feel that they should take that out on popcorn.
Note: UK prices are listed.