Food News

Movie Theaters Lie: Large Popcorn Equals Three Big Macs

I long ago stopped eating the offerings at movie theater concession stands. So long ago that I can't remember when I started loading up at Walgreen's and sneaking in healthier, fresher, and better-priced snacks. The reason I began doing this is because eating movie theater popcorn can kill you.

Sure, it might not kill you instantly, but there is a reason movie theater companies don't want you to know the calorie count of their concession items, such as popcorn, hot dogs, and so forth. This is why movie theater companies are battling the FDA over the government's current proposal to force theaters to disclose the calorie content of their food.

You know why they don't want you to know the amount of calories in their food? Because you might not purchase that large buttered popcorn when you find out it has the caloric equivalent of almost three Big Macs from McDonald's. Throw in a hot dog, soda, and some candy, and in that one, impulsive, and ridiculously priced meal, you might have just consumed a weekend's worth of calories.

Mind you, the National Association of Theater Owners is balking at being forced to reveal the calorie content of theater food -- not the nutritional content, which the feds aren't even discussing (although they really, really should). Not revealing the nutritional content means movie theater concession stands can continue to serve hot dogs made from assorted goat parts and lemur droppings. So they really shouldn't be that upset.

But let's not forget that these are the same theater companies that several years ago started marketing this poison directly to kids via convenient, attractively packaged, and fun-size combos: a soda, candy, and, of course, death corn.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times this morning, popcorn is a cash cow for movie theater companies. David Ownby, the CFO of Regal Entertainment Group, recently waxed poetic at an investors meeting: "We sell a bucket of popcorn for about $6. Our cost in that $6 bucket of popcorn is about 15 cents or 20 cents. So if that cost doubles, it doesn't really hurt me that much."

It sure hurts us, though. Thanks, dickhead.

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Ily Goyanes
Contact: Ily Goyanes