Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Popcorn Premium

According to this article from the AP, an Israeli lawmaker is pushing to pass a law that would limit prices of popcorn and other snacks sold at movie theaters. “We have to put an end to this. The public should not have to mortgage their houses for a soft drink and a snack,” he said.

I love this. Prices of movie snacks are absolutely insane, let alone the price of the ticket to see the film in the first place. You go on a date, get a couple of sodas, a popcorn, you’re looking at easily dropping around $40. As compared with the bargains of rentals, microwaveable popcorn and store-bought candy, it’s amazing to think people pay for what they do. (Cough, cough… STARBUCKS!)

Now, I know nothing of trends in movie snack sales, but I’d assume theaters would undoubtedly lower their prices if they weren’t selling– so my guess is they’re doing just fine. People are more than willing to pay a premium for that delicious popcorn and ridiculously large soda. It makes no business sense to lower a price and shrink your margins when you don’t have to. It all boils down to behavioral economics, and the satisfaction one gets from that buttery bag of popcorn.

As much as I empathize with the Israeli lawmaker, prices – at least in my opinion – will just continue to go up, if anything. More on coughing, Starbucks and behavioral economics later.

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