A tub of popcorn costs $6-7.
Richard B. McKenzie, in a book titled Why Popcorn Costs So at the Movies, estimates there's a 1,300% profit margin on movie popcorn in the US.
In Israel, it was recently proposed to outlaw overpriced popcorn (link here). Will the Israeli parliament pass the law and set a precedent? Well, I'm not holding my breath.
For me, it's not how much I pay for the popcorn but the hordes of people at the cinema. I like movies during weekends but I don't like the weekend crowds. Easy solution: DVDs and DIY popcorn.
Weekend + movie + popcorn – crowds = happiness.
(Recipe for 1 portion)
¼ cup popcorn kernels
75 g sugar
15 g butter
pinch of salt
1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds or skinless peanuts, finely ground
Add popcorn kernels to a very hot wok over medium heat. Stir until the first kernel pops. Cover, leaving a gap for steam to escape. When popping picks up speed, reduce heat to low. When popping slows down, turn off heat. Transfer popcorn to a bowl when popping stops. Remove unpopped kernels if any.
Add sugar to the wok over medium heat. As sugar melts, swirl it around till light brown. Add butter, salt and sesame seeds or peanuts. Turn off heat. Mix till even and butter is melted. Add popcorn to caramel. Mix thoroughly with a spatula. Serve.