Filmgoer sues Michigan AMC Theater over high snack prices

Posted Mar 6, 2012 by Andrew Moran
A Michigan man has filed a lawsuit against a local AMC Theater over exorbitant prices for snacks, such as popcorn, soda and candy. Consumer experts, though, expect the case to be dismissed, but many are now asking: are movie snacks too expensive?
Public Domain Pictures
Heading over to your local cinema used to be one of the cheapest things a person or a family could do. Nowadays, not so much. Depending on what day of the week you go to the movie theater and where, a family of four is expected to spend at least $50, especially if you purchase snacks for the movie.
We have all been there. We get peckish before the picture starts and head over to the concession area and buy a bag of popcorn with a small soda. Unfortunately for your wallet, you just spent nearly $10. Why is it expensive?
Well, one Michigan filmgoer has had enough and has filed a class-action lawsuit against a local AMC Theater at the American Multi Cinema. Joshua Thompson claims that the snack prices are so high that they violate price-gouging practices of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, according to the Detroit Free Press.
This whole ordeal began in December when Thompson purchased a Coke and box of Goobers chocolate-covered peanuts for $8, which is about three times more than the average cost at stores in the vicinity.
“He got tired of being taken advantage of,” said Thompson’s lawyer, Kerry Morgan. “It's hard to justify prices that are three- and four-times higher than anywhere else.” Although it may be quite expensive, experts say the lawsuit will be dismissed because movie theaters are already regulated.
Nevertheless, Free Press attempted to contact a staffer at the National Association of Theatre Owners in Washington, but the person “angrily hung up when asked about industry snack pricing practices.”
For years, Thompson used to bring in his own snacks to the Livonia theater, but management later posted a sign prohibiting outside food and drink.
What does the lawsuit seek? Refunds for customers who were overcharged.