Popcorn, the Meal of Kings?

Popcorn pricing is why I usually bring my own snacks to the movie theater, and now I have even more reason now that I know how insane the mark up is!

movie theatre popcorn costs more per ounce than filet mignon

A professor at UC Irvine named Richard McKenzie wrote the book on popcorn pricing. I mean he literally wrote the book. It’s called “Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies And Other Pricing Puzzles”. He wasn’t just writing about buying it at the movies, he was also writing about farmers looking for political subsidiaries.

Anyway, there appears to be around a 1,300% markup, however Professor McKenzie could not actually confirm this, as the theaters would not confirm his estimations.


– The un-popped kernels are called “spinsters” or “old maids.”
– Good popcorn should produce 98% popped kernels with under 2% being spinsters
– The world’s oldest known popper, a shallow vessel with a handle and hole on top was designed around A.D. 300.
– While other businesses failed during the Great Depression, the popcorn business thrived. Popcorn sold at around 5 to 10 cents a bag, making it one of the more affordable food for poor families.
– More than 200 million boxes of Cracker Jacks are consumed every year in the U.S. alone.

If you like this fact you should check out our Food Category!

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