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
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
Ralph Lauren's many looks A look at his brands and iconic creations More
8 biggest job killing companies of 2015 Whole Foods became the latest corporate giant to lay off workers. Here's a look at the companies that have announced the most jobs cuts this year. More
America's best beer towns Here are the best cities to crack open a cold one and celebrate Oktoberfest, according to Trulia. More

Special Offer