Cheapskate Wisdom about … the Price of Movie Theater Popcorn

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“If movie popcorn is such a raw deal, why are the concession lines so long?”

A contrarian view offered in a WSJ op-ed about whether movie theater popcorn is, in fact, as big a rip-off as consumers claim it to be. Considering that movie theaters make 85% profits at concessions stands, it sure seems like a rip-off.

On the other hand, as the WSJ piece explains, were it not for these rip-offs, consumers would probably be paying more in some other way:

In an age of growing government control of economies, the possibility that some politicians somewhere may suppress the price of movie popcorn cannot be ruled out. Just be assured that such a move would be followed by an unintended consequence: an increase in ticket prices that will likely be greater than the reduction in the price of popcorn. How else are theaters supposed to recover their lost high margin on popcorn and then cover their fixed costs?

On second thought, I like that overpriced popcorn is sold at the movies. At least I like that I have the option not to buy it.