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  • The movie business might seem like a glamorous industry with celebrities strutting down red

  • carpets to watch premieres, but the economics of the biz is a complicated affair with many

  • financial factors at play.

  • Movies are media for the masses, and the price of a movie ticket remains affordable in most

  • places around the world.

  • The price of popcorn, sodas, and candy, on the other hand, is on the rise at movie theaters.

  • Are moviegoers being ripped off?

  • Or is there more behind these premium rates for low-cost items?

  • And how did popcorn find its way into the movie theater in the first place?

  • That's what we'll explore today, in this episode of The Infographics Show, Why is movie

  • popcorn so expensive?

  • Moviemaking is always somewhat of a gamble.

  • The public can be fickle, and the industry is changing with new distribution methods

  • evolving, such as Netflix and Amazon.

  • Even a film with big names and a huge marketing machine behind it can totally flop.

  • The Motion Picture Association of America states that 2016 box office earnings for US

  • and Canada stood at $11.4 billion, which was a rise of 2% from the previous year.

  • In 2016, the global box office was said to earn $38.6 billion.

  • In the early days of cinema, a movie would be made, hit the theaters, make the vast majority

  • of revenue through ticket sales, and then promptly disappear.

  • Indie surprise hit Little Miss Sunshine was made for $8 million, sold to distributor Fox

  • Searchlight for $10.5 million, and made $59.9 million at the box office.

  • On the other hand, Walt Disney's John Carter had an estimated budget of $250 million but

  • made only $73 million at the US box office.

  • Nobody in Hollywood really knows which film will be the next hit, but certain franchises

  • such as James Bond usually do well at the box office, and superheroes remain super sellers.

  • For a cinema to show a popular film, the chain has to bid for the right to show it.

  • This model works to guarantee a high percentage for the film producers and distribution companies.

  • Sometimes as much as 80% of ticket revenue goes to the film company.

  • For a first-run release and over a normal year, most theaters lose a little or make

  • a little money on the ticket sales.

  • A cinema that takes in $30 million in ticket sales might get to keep about $30,000, or

  • a profit of about 0.1%.

  • When one adds up the cost of running and staffing the premises, utilities, etc., the theater

  • will usually be running at a loss and need popcorn to pop them from the red to the black.

  • Back in the day, a movie ticket would be a few dollars, and the matinee cheaper than

  • that.

  • Nowadays, taking a family of four to the cinema may cost $50, and once you add popcorn and

  • sodas, the evening can add up to $100.

  • According to a DoughRoller article, around 55% of each ticket sold goes to the studio

  • that created the movie.

  • So if a ticket is $10, the production studio gets $5.50.

  • The article divided up that $5.50 into $2.11 for advertising and marketing.

  • $1.71 is set aside for the production of the movie - crew equipment, writers, locations

  • - everything apart from the actors and talent.

  • $1 goes towards movie distribution, and $0.68 goes towards the cast of the movie.

  • This percentage will vary from film to film.

  • A horror movie may have a low budget for its cast, whereas an action movie will no doubt

  • have a star-studded lineup that will require a larger percentage.

  • The theater chain sets the price for the ticket rather than the production studios.

  • Theater attendance has been falling according to some studies, and this makes it more difficult

  • for distributors and producers to make a profit from the films that they make and distribute.

  • During the opening week of a film, the price of the ticket is divided between the theater

  • owners, the distributor, and the production company.

  • The longer the picture shows, the higher the percentage of the ticket price goes to the

  • theater.

  • Each film will have a separate contract.

  • The films that flop normally give the cinema a larger percentage of the ticket price.

  • Foreign sales are a big pull for producers.

  • This is why we see lots of superhero films.

  • They are easy to understand if you are sitting in a theater in China, India, or the USA.

  • An independent romantic comedy doesn't have the same international value.

  • So while filmmakers try to make hits each time, only a handful of movies are actually

  • successful at the box office each year.

  • The theater will not force any moviegoers to buy concessions such as popcorn, although

  • in doing so, you keep the business model running.

  • Movie tickets are less expensive than sporting events, concerts, theme parks, and even some

  • art galleries and museums.

  • Movie theaters may eject folks who bring in their own food or drinks, but there is a reason

  • for that.

  • The theaters are held accountable by law should anyone become ill at their business premises.

  • And, really, if you do want to snack, the concession counter is right there and part

  • of the moviegoing experience.

  • And when you're buying popcorn, you're helping to keep the cinemas running at a profit.

  • Studies from the University of California and Stanford Graduate School of Business show

  • that this is the real reason behind these inflated popcorn prices.

  • Basically, by charging high-end prices for popcorn, the movie theaters are able to keep

  • the price for movie tickets lower, allowing more moviegoers to watch the latest epic action

  • or superhero film.

  • The research questions whether it is better to charge more for the primary product (the

  • movie ticket) or the secondary product (the popcorn), and most moviegoers would agree

  • that the price of the ticket is the most important.

  • Lower ticket prices mean that people who want to enjoy the movie but aren't too fussy

  • about munching on popcorn while doing so, have the door wide open for them to watch

  • the latest flick.

  • Sales from concessions such as popcorn make up around 20 percent of a movie theater's

  • gross revenues, but they make up almost 40 percent of profits.

  • Some studies report that this figure is more like 85% of profits.

  • While ticket revenues must be shared with movie distribution companies, the theater

  • gets to keep 100 percent of the popcorn sales, so this is typically their bread-and-butter

  • business.

  • Academic Wesley Hartman of Stanford and Richard Gil, assistant professor at the University

  • of California, discovered that during periods of high and low cinema attendance, the popcorn

  • sales remained stable and were actually proportionately higher during periods of low ticket sales.

  • This suggests that dedicated moviegoers will buy popcorn, whereas the occasional moviegoer

  • will happily skip the concessions and just watch the movie.

  • In a separate study of Spanish theaters, it was found that customers who bought their

  • movie ticket online tended to buy more concession items compared to those who bought their ticket

  • at the door.

  • People who come to watch movies in groups tend to buy more popcorn.

  • Families are more likely to buy popcorn.

  • Children are persuasive consumers.

  • This explains why there is normally at least one animation or child-based feature shown

  • at movie theaters at any one time.

  • But how did popcorn first find its way into the movie theater?

  • Corn was first grown domestically about 10,000 years ago in what is now Mexico.

  • Archaeologists have discovered remnants of popcorn that appear to be dated as early as

  • 3600 BC.

  • The popping of kernels using a hand stovetop occurred for the first time in the 19th century

  • and first appeared in the 1848 Dictionary of Americanisms.

  • The 1890 invention of the popcorn maker increased the popularity of popcorn, with street carts

  • fitted out with popcorn makers.

  • During the Great Depression, popcorn cost 5-10 cents a bag, and while other businesses

  • went under, the popcorn business survived and even thrived.

  • Theater owners discovered that the snack was popular at their shows but were initially

  • displeased as they thought munching on popcorn mentally distracted the audience from watching

  • silent films.

  • Andrew Smith, the author of the book Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America,

  • said the following to Smithsonian Magazine: “Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with

  • popcorn because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters.

  • They had beautiful carpets and didn't want the popcorn being ground into it.

  • Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn't want to deal

  • with the distracting trash of concessionsor the distracting noise that snacking

  • during a film would create.

  • When film added sound in 1927, the movie theater industry opened itself up to a much wider

  • clientele, since literacy was no longer required to attend films (the titles used in early

  • silent films restricted the audience) and by 1930, attendance to movie theaters had

  • reached 90 million per week.

  • Such a huge patronage created larger possibilities for profitsespecially since the sound

  • pictures now muffled snacksbut movie theater owners were still hesitant to bring

  • snacks inside of their theaters.”

  • They eventually changed their tune over time.

  • In 1938, Glen W. Dickson installed a popcorn machine in the lobby of his Midwestern theaters.

  • The idea became a successful addition, and the trend soon spread to other theaters around

  • the country.

  • The rest, as they say, is history, and now popcorn sales make up to 85% of theaters'

  • profits

  • and keep the industry afloat.

  • So, are you a popcorn buyer, or do you head straight for the screen empty-handed?

  • Or are you a popcorn smuggler, bringing in your own supply?

  • Let us know in the comments!

  • Also, be sure to watch our other video called Why do games cost $60?

  • Thanks for watching, and as always, don't forget to like, share and subscribe.

  • See you next time!

The movie business might seem like a glamorous industry with celebrities strutting down red

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為什麼電影爆米花這麼貴? (Why Is Movie Popcorn So Expensive?)

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    PC home 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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