Reel Blog

Popcorn prices make movie tickets cheaper

I know this is the sort of thing you would expect to hear from the National Association of Theatre Owners, but in this case it’s not us saying it.

A Stanford Business School study makes the case that higher concession prices subsidize cheaper ticket prices, making movies more affordable for those who would not be buying concessions anyway.

“The theater owner has two choices. He can make money through admission tickets. Or he can make money through concessions,” said UCSC economist Ricard Gil. “If he wants to make money on the ticket, that may deter a lot of people from coming in.

“So instead he charges a higher total price on people who are willing to pay for the whole movie experience,” said Gil, an enthusiastic consumer of both movies and snacks. “And he’s able to charge a lower price for the guy who can barely afford it.”

So next time you’re annoyed by somebody slurping his soda a little noisily, or munching his popcorn a bit too crunchily, cut him a little slack. He helped buy your ticket