These Are The Reasons Why Food And Beverages Are So Expensive In Movie Theatres

Have you ever bought a tub of popcorn and a soft drink at a multiplex? If yes, did you have to sell one of your kidneys to be able to purchase it? If yes, then this article is for you.

Nowadays, a normal movie ticket costs anything between Rs. 200 and Rs. 300. But if you want some popcorn to go with it (movies and food- always a great idea), it will cost you something between Rs. 240 to Rs. 280 (even higher in more prominent multiplexes). Some soft drink as a refreshment will set you back by Rs. 160 to Rs. 250. A combination of food and beverage will most certainly be more expensive than the price of admission. But why is this the norm? Why are the prices of anything edible, inside a theatre, so effing steep?

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The reason is not exactly greed.

The food that we get inside a multiplex is not by the theatre chain themselves. A third party vendor supplies the food and beverages to these theatres, which is also why a Samosa tastes the same in every PVR in the city. And these third party ‘contractors’ (as they are called) acquire the licenses to sell their products at a very high cost. For theatre owners also, it is a necessity, as in India, they barely get 40% of the profits from the ticket sales. If the film is a flop, you can imagine how meagre that amount must be. Combine it with their astronomical rent, operating costs, and other miscellaneous expenses, and you can almost understand their need to sell the license at a high cost.

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Now, the contractors aren’t exactly social workers. They need to make their profits. Which they make, by selling you food and beverages at almost 10 times their market value. The general sentiment is that if someone can spend 300 bucks on a movie ticket, they can certainly spend 160 Rs on a soft drink.

Theatre owners know that movies are at least two hours long, and one is bound to feel hungry and/or thirsty during the movie. They, smartly, don’t allow any outside eatables. So one is bound to buy eatables off of them, from a market they have monopolised.

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However, when we look at the bigger economics at play here, where there is a ripple effect of inflation, the food prices don’t seem THAT steep. Yes, they are still insanely expensive. But next time you are offended by the inflated price of commodities, take a deep breath, and tell yourself it’s inevitable!

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Vishesh Jaiswal

I am a digital storyteller, more persuasive than needed. Also, I am Batman.

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