Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

2 of 9
BACKNEXT
Movie theater popcorn - 900% markup
Movie theater popcorn - 900% markup
A medium bag of popcorn costs just 60 cents to make but retails for $6, a whopping 900% markup. That's enough to make "Avatar" fans turn blue.

Richard McKenzie, an economics professor at University of California-Irvine, says theater owners mark up the snack so much because they don't make a profit elsewhere.

McKenzie, author of the 2008 book "Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies: And Other Pricing Puzzles," says that out of your $10 movie ticket, only a tiny percentage goes to the theater's profits.

"Popcorn is what pays for a lot of stuff in the movie theater," McKenzie says. "A lot of theater owners tell me, 'I consider myself working in concessions, not movies.'"

NEXT: 'Free' credit reports that'll cost you

Last updated February 02 2010: 11:12 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Banned! 10 things you won't find in China China says it wants to open its economy more to the rest of the world, but Beijing keeps a tight grip on technology and access to media. These 10 items are still off limits. More
A morning at the AltSchool, an education startup that Silicon Valley is crazy about The AltSchool is a system of "micro schools" and an education software maker that has raised about $133 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's philanthropic fund. More
Coolest cars for $18,000 These are the best budget cars, according to the experts at Kelley Blue Book. More

Special Offer