Movie goers file class action suit over high price of Milk Duds and Pepsi

Oh the humanity. If popcorn and Twizzlers cost too much at the movie theater, stay home and get to know Orville Redenbacher.

But noooooo… these fools have found a lawyer to file a class action suit against the AMC theater in Livonia, Michigan because the cost of candy, popcorn and soda is just too damn high. From the Detroit Free Press.

Joshua Thompson loves the movies.

But he hates the prices theaters charge for concessions like pop and candy.

This week, the 20-something security technician from Livonia decided to do something about it: He filed a class action in Wayne County Circuit Court against his local AMC theater in hopes of forcing theaters statewide to dial down snack prices.

“He got tired of being taken advantage of,” said Thompson’s lawyer, Kerry Morgan of Wyandotte. “It’s hard to justify prices that are three- and four-times higher than anywhere else.”

Maybe Joshua should file a class action suit against Johnny Depp for making more than $20 million per film? It’s not fair!

Movie theaters – for first-run, modern-day films – usually get 20 percent to 30 percent of the box office take depending on the distribution deal. Profit is by no means guaranteed and theaters often must agree to show the film multiple times per day for a minimum of a couple of weeks even if it’s a box office bomb.

Think of having to keep Gigli, the one-star worst-movie-ever-made wonder featuring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez playing in your theater with the seats – that can easily cost $400 each – mostly empty for a week or more. They won’t even play Gigli on cable, TV executives are too afraid.

If you’re a theater owner/manager, you’re hoping a lot of people are buying popcorn and bags of Swedish Red Fish when your showing Gigli with a gun to your head. In short, the concession stand subsidizes the cost of keeping the projectors running and ensuring you enjoy the surround sound experience.

“The prices are ridiculous,” Rebecca Motley, 55, a self-employed Southfield physician, said while leaving the AMC Star Southfield 20.

Motley said she and her office manager spent $5 each for morning movie tickets and $11 each for soft drinks and popcorn.

“When I was a kid, $1 could get you into the movies and buy you a pop and popcorn. But not anymore,” Motley said. “I don’t know how kids can go on their own to a movie anymore.”

Says the woman with the 763 ounce Diet Coke in her hand. Look, I actually worked for more than a decade at one of those 99 cent theaters that had candy, popcorn and soda prices that were a heck of a lot more expensive than you could buy a the local drug store. I know, the concession stand subsidized the cost of bringing in the film.

They certainly might be charging a lot for candy and soda, but nobody is telling you to buy it. Pick up the ticket and walk in. Stop and have dinner and a drink before or after the movie. Eat your Whoppers in the parking lot.

Regal Entertainment Group – parent corp of AMC – had a net profit margin of 1.5 percent in it’s last reporting year. What that means is they lost a lot of money operating the theater and showing movies, and charged enough for concessions to barely make a profit … and you want to sue them.

Update: Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air picked up on this story today (Tuesday).


16 replies
  1. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Maybe they should price the concessions accordingly to what you can afford to pay. Under a certain income? Free. Over 250,000 a year? Your fair share. Kinda like the federal income tax.

  2. itallmatters
    itallmatters says:

    I always bring my own snacks – but then I carry a purse.? And besides, no one is holding a gun to your head to buy their choices.? I am so sick and tired of hearing the “it’s NOT fair” argument.? Enough already — just pull up your big person pants and go to Walgreen’s on Sunday and buy your movie snacks.? Figure it out – not hardly worth a law suit.? There are so many more important things to be concerned about.? Like the DEBT – or how about the prices of gasoline, or how about those who really believe that I do not know how to eat properly.? I could go on and on……

  3. ricbee
    ricbee says:

    Go to a baseball game for a $10 beer &? $18.95 cheeseburger or a $3.50 water. And be there for four hours.

  4. winnie
    winnie says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m of the mind that I would much rather watch a movie on dvd from the comfort of my bed with a bowl of Orville close by.? Can’t beat the comfort and ya can’t beat the prices.? And if I doze off?? I can pick up from where I left off.? Theaters are over rated as is Hollyweird.

  5. SoundOffSister
    SoundOffSister says:

    As William Shakespeare would have said were he still alive, the first thing we do is kill all the lawyers.?
    This case gives brand new meaning to the term “frivilous lawsuit”.

  6. JBS
    JBS says:

    Winnie, you have it correct! We only go to the movie theaters when there is something we think would look better on the large screen, Harry Potter, Pirates, something like that. We have never gone just to go. When we do go to the movies, we bring our own water and snacks. We don’t eat all of that high-fructose corn syrup or over-salted, heart-attack inducing popcorn (cooked in stale oil~~).
    Needless to say it is rare that we go to the movies. (Sticky floor, people arguing or telling the plot, “She’s going to take? the knife and make it look like . . .”
    As for suing, hey, any a****** can bring a law suit. It counts for your fifteen minutes of fame. Whoopee!

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      Make an exception to the rule and go to “Act of Valor”, it is so good you don’t care if you have snacks. I still love good action films in a theater. Any other movie is better at home.

  7. Murphy
    Murphy says:

    See what happens when we lose Blumy as Attorney General ! If he was still AG Connecticut would have joined the lawsuit. Does this mean we have to give up the title of the “Sue Me” state too?

  8. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    Theaters should also pay for the birth control and gender re-assignment surgery for their patrons.

  9. dennis
    dennis says:

    Here’s an Idea, have the Hollywood Liberals who donate to Obama give the theatres their?income taxes to make up for the losses. They will then be able to lower the prices. Thewy would then be paying their “fair share”.??Sticking with S Flukes world we should then pay for the candy and Soda anyway, just look at all the sad faces that can’t buy their goddies ’cause it cost too much.

  10. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    If the court doesn’t throw it out (which it will) I will sue (on behalf of my tapeworm) for larger soda sizes and candy portions.?

  11. winnie
    winnie says:

    I don’t understand why people like Joshua Thompson don’t get out there and actually live their lives instead of vicariously living through others on a big screen.? Not to say that movies don’t have entertainment value…but when EVERYTHING has gone up in price, you have to make choices, typically value-based choices.? Of course, values are subjective, so that’s kind of a bad argument.? That said, the base of Maslow’s pyramid does not say “movie tickets and movie theater snacks”.
    Maybe this lawsuit is a segue into the ‘unalienable rights’ of movie-goers….

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