A movie theater popcorn devotee’s post about paying $30 for a massive bag of the salted, buttered snack from AMC sparked controversy on TikTok.
Lisa Nicole Gomez (@lisanicolegomez) showed off the sack she had delivered to her, but viewers said she could’ve ended up with the same amount of popcorn at a lower price point if she explored other options.
@lisanicolegomez The video that went crazy on instagram & facebook. You’re welcome. #amc #amctheaters #amcpopcorn #amcpopcornbucket #amcpopcornbag #popcorn #snacks #viralreels @AMC+ ♬ original sound – Lisa Nicole Gomez
“I knew you could get this big bag of popcorn delivered from AMC but I didn’t realize they’d give a full bottle of butter. Cost $30 but it was worth it,” she says.
The video begins with her showing off the ginormous bag filled with the popped kernels along with what looks like a squeeze bottle of hydrogenated soybean oil chemically flavored to smell and taste like butter.
The clip then transitions to her pouring the “butter” over a Styrofoam plate of popcorn and even though Gomez seemed happy with her purchase, viewers didn’t think that it was a good deal.
One TikToker wrote, “Let me tell you about Costco microwave popcorn…” suggesting that they could’ve purchased way more popcorn that tastes just as good for less money.
Another thought that the cost didn’t justify what she received, sharing, “It’s so easy to make at home. $10 AT MOST for a big batch.”
“She said that was worth it,” someone else sarcastically commented with a moaning face emoji.
Another user said her $30 price tag was more than what they paid for when they purchased the bag from AMC themselves. “Damn $30? I pay $17 for it after taxes,” they wrote.
One person suggested another alternative from America’s favorite retailer, sharing, “Just get kernels from Walmart and buy some flavacol. it’s the same.”
According to a Quora post, the profit margins on movie theater popcorn are pretty significant—if a cinema concession stand charges $6 for a tub, that same amount only costs the business 48 cents to make.
One user broke down just how much cash companies can make off of the iconic viewing snack, writing, “Popcorn is simple: Seed, oil, topping and a means to cook it. When I ran movie theaters, the profit margin on popcorn was around 92%. That is, a monster tub of popcorn that sold for $6 cost about 48 cents to make.”
The Atlantic also broke down that on average, theaters can expect to make a 1,275% markup on its popcorn offerings, which was a figure that was further supported by Reader’s Digest. Despite the notoriously high prices for movie theater concessions with low-cost items like fountain sodas and popcorn, The Hustle states that many cinemas are still struggling to turn hefty profits.
Much of this has to do with the outlet’s claim that theaters don’t turn sizable profits on ticket sales. A Yahoo! piece featuring a financial analyst’s breakdown of cinema economics states that smaller theaters like mom-and-pop shops and independent operations only earn 20% of their revenue from ticket sales and the bulk of their earnings are from concessions. Larger, corporate entities like Regal and AMC, earn around 65% of their money from ticket sales and 35% from beverages and snacks.
On AMC’s website, the brand promotes that folks can “bring the taste of the movies delivered” to them via Uber Eats and that it sells it big bag of popcorn for $14.99, complete with a bottle of its “butter.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to AMC via email and Gomez via Instagram direct message for further comment.