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Filmgoer takes stand on costly snacks, sues AMC Livonia theater [link only]
Detroit Free Press | March 4, 2012 | David Ashenfelter

Posted on 03/05/2012 2:44:22 PM PST by grundle

Link only due to copyright concerns:

http://www.freep.com/article/20120304/NEWS06/203040519/Filmgoer-takes-stand-on-costly-snacks-sues-AMC-Livonia-theater


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/05/2012 2:44:28 PM PST by grundle
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To: grundle
http://www.freep.com/article/20120304/NEWS06/203040519/Filmgoer-takes-stand-on-costly-snacks-sues-AMC-Livonia-theater
2 posted on 03/05/2012 2:46:01 PM PST by grundle
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To: grundle

Well that’s interesting. The link just circles back. Oh well.


3 posted on 03/05/2012 2:46:48 PM PST by grundle
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To: grundle
Here's a link that works: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/article/245374/19/Man-Sues-AMC-Theater-Over-Concession-Prices
4 posted on 03/05/2012 2:50:45 PM PST by Brookhaven (Mitt Romney will right-size the economy--just like he did your job when he bought your company)
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To: grundle

Why doesn’t he sue for $1-per-gallon gas?


5 posted on 03/05/2012 2:52:15 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: grundle
Why should we be surprised in the age of Obama that, yet again, someone doesn't understand even the basics of how a business or the free market?

I'm surprised they just didn't call 911 and have the theater manager arrested for high prices.

6 posted on 03/05/2012 2:52:58 PM PST by Brookhaven (Mitt Romney will right-size the economy--just like he did your job when he bought your company)
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To: grundle

Try this: http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20120305/NEWS10/120305009/1027/rss18


7 posted on 03/05/2012 2:53:21 PM PST by tomkat (FU.baraq)
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To: grundle

Heck, I just bring my own.


8 posted on 03/05/2012 2:53:24 PM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it. (plagiarized))
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To: grundle

It’s meritless for any number of reasons, both legal and practical. The most important aspect to this IMO is that there seems to be no lower limit to what people think they’re entitled to these days.

I note that the wheelchair-bound woman in the picture has time take in the full cinema experience on a Friday morning, when most people who can’t afford that are either working or at home.


9 posted on 03/05/2012 2:55:38 PM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Navy Patriot
Heck, I just bring my own.

Me too, although I got thrown out of the theater. It wasn't the food, it was the microwave they objected to.

10 posted on 03/05/2012 2:56:45 PM PST by Kharis13 (That noise you hear is our Founding Fathers spinning in their graves.)
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To: Navy Patriot
"Heck, I just bring my own."

They did too, till the theater posted a sign banning the practice.

The article says they are suing under the Michigan consumer protection act. But that two state supreme court decisions exempted most regulated businesses from that act. So they are thinking the suit will be thrown out.

Which makes me wonder, why are movie theaters regulated? And in what way?

11 posted on 03/05/2012 2:57:21 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: grundle

He’s gonna lose. You have options. But the theaters really ought to consider lowering prices. I know they’re in a hard spot because most of the ticket money goes to Hollywood and so they have to make the money on concessions but I think they’re gilding the lily. If they went to convenience store prices people would stop smuggling stuff (bought at the convenience stores) in, revenue would go up. Heck for convenience store prices they’d probably get impulse shoppers. Our local arthouse keeps prices low and they turned a profit this year, not a big profit but it’s a 2 screen arthouse in a time when most theaters are losing money fast.


12 posted on 03/05/2012 2:59:11 PM PST by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: grundle

I went to a movie this past weekend,one of two or three I see in a year’s time. There were very few people at the concession stand. Maybe the problem will take care of itself.


13 posted on 03/05/2012 3:02:06 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Kharis13
It wasn't the food, it was the microwave they objected to.

Funny, they don't object to my heater, but it's self contained.

14 posted on 03/05/2012 3:02:20 PM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it. (plagiarized))
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To: grundle

from another article:

“Morgan did offer up this tidbit about Thompson, which might explain why the plaintiff is paying careful attention to what flies out of his wallet: Thompson is newly engaged and getting married in just a few months.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-popcorn-lawsuit-20120305,0,3059649.story


15 posted on 03/05/2012 3:04:53 PM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: grundle

Some time back, I took my g/daughter to see “Schreck”, I dunno how to spell it. Anyway, it cost me almost $40 for tickets, a drink each, a split box of pop corn and a small box of candy. That totally sucks dude.


16 posted on 03/05/2012 3:05:29 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: grundle

The theater’s argument is simple.

1) We do not make very much profit from the movies themselves. Our source of profit is our concessions.

2) Renting a building large enough to house a theater is expensive, as is the cost of utilities and employing our staff.

3) Therefore we request the judge dismiss the lawsuit, with any associated costs to be paid by the man who filed this lawsuit and his attorney.


17 posted on 03/05/2012 3:06:32 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: discostu
I know they’re in a hard spot because most of the ticket money goes to Hollywood

The first week can see up to 90% of the gross going straight to the studio. There's no way that the remaining 10% can pay the rent, staff, electricity, etc.

18 posted on 03/05/2012 3:07:43 PM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

It’s far simpler than that, as implied in the article: they’re already regulated, so the MCPA doesn’t apply. This will be dismissed during the first court appearance, and in a correctly run judicial system, the attorney would be fined.


19 posted on 03/05/2012 3:10:28 PM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: grundle

I used to take in my own, but one night they noticed my microwave...


20 posted on 03/05/2012 3:10:50 PM PST by brooklin
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To: jiggyboy

Yeah it’s an issue for them, though remember every week the percentage they keep goes up, of course the revenue of the picture goes down to. But I think there’s more money in reducing the cost of concessions. It’s one of those “would you rather sell 1000 of something at $6 or 10,000 at $2”. Normal businesses you figure they put a lot of work into their pricing to find the break points, but movie theater concessions have been over priced so long I doubt anybody’s really put the work into it anymore. Heck just being able to advertise “we use convenience store pricing” would make them the choice theaters in town. I think they consider themselves amusement parks with a captive audience, forgetting that movies are two hours long, if we can’t smuggle food we can always wait.


21 posted on 03/05/2012 3:12:20 PM PST by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: Graybeard58
Basically, I skip first run movies unless it is something really, really special. The last one I saw was Amazing Grace. How many years ago was that?

There are a lot of older, smaller theaters which sell $2 to $5 tickets to movies which have been out awhile. Sure, the same movies are in DVD format, but there is something about the theater experience and big screen which still brings in the patrons. You'll find these type of theaters in college towns, but also in smaller towns. They also sell refreshments at convenience store prices. They really don't care if you bring your own stuff in because their prices are reasonable enough that almost nobody does. They evidently make money because they remain open.

22 posted on 03/05/2012 3:16:53 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: discostu

two hour long movies with 30 minutes of useless commercials and pre-commercial local ads on the screen.

The problem is the CONTENT of the movie.


23 posted on 03/05/2012 3:18:44 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: grundle

24 posted on 03/05/2012 3:19:23 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit ;-{)
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To: grundle

I remember when my Brothers and I would all go to the Bay Theater in Panama City, Florida for a nickel each. This would be on Saturdays. There would typically be a cowboy or Tarzan or similar movie on Saturdays.

There was always a cartoon and a serial, my favorite being Rocket Man or Commander Cody. I don’t think we ever got snacks tho.

A few years later it cost 15 cents at the Ritz in DeFuniak Srings. I would often buy milk duds or another of the standard theater snacks.

When I got to 18, the Ritz jumped to what I thought was highway robbery: 65 Cents, tho the Junior Mints etc. were still the same and completely affordable.

I know there has been a lot of inflation since 1965 but theater prices have gone up much more than most things.


25 posted on 03/05/2012 3:28:03 PM PST by yarddog
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To: jiggyboy

My date, and I just saw “Woman in Black” there a month ago. We solved this problem by going to dinner first. Although, they say Livonia is the Whitest city in America, so I call Racism! :)


26 posted on 03/05/2012 3:29:07 PM PST by MotorCityBuck ( Keep the change, you filthy animal!)
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To: Rebelbase

“There were very few people at the concession stand”

We went to see Act of Valor a couple of weeks ago. I’ll bet we didn’t see more than 4 boxes of popcorn in the sold out theatre.


27 posted on 03/05/2012 3:34:48 PM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Graybeard58
...Anyway, it cost me almost $40 for tickets, a drink each, a split box of pop corn and a small box of candy...

I feel your pain. The last movie I saw was the first Transformer movie. I took my young son as he wanted to see it.

Anyway, the two tickets, two small drinks and a shared popcorn cost me $35 and that was a matinee.

28 posted on 03/05/2012 3:38:28 PM PST by OldMissileer (Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, PK. Winners of the Cold War)
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Unreal, to put their energy into something so flipping unimportant at this time.

I can think of many more pressing issues to take a stand against.


29 posted on 03/05/2012 3:40:28 PM PST by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: Kharis13

Ha!


30 posted on 03/05/2012 4:05:08 PM PST by hummingbird (Why DID they call him Bat, Bat Masterson?)
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To: Brookhaven
Why should we be surprised in the age of Obama that, yet again, someone doesn't understand even the basics of how a business or the free market?

50 yrs of public screws indoctrination made it happen. Yea, the Communist Manifesto is working well here.

31 posted on 03/05/2012 4:10:18 PM PST by Digger (If RINO is your selection then failure is your election)
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To: Graybeard58

Movie popcorn is the most expensive food product based on weight alone. I can get prime filets for less.

If I could figure out how to get my own popcorn in I would.


32 posted on 03/05/2012 4:28:51 PM PST by Recon Dad (Gas & Petroleum Junkie)
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To: grundle

The real issue is the theater banning people from bringing their own snacks. Challenging that is the only thing that might make a little bit of sense. Theaters can charge whatever they want. It’s the enforced monopoly that is the problem.


33 posted on 03/05/2012 4:29:24 PM PST by Neanderthal
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To: discostu

many, many, many, many years ago I worked in a local movie theatre, they make their money from candy and the most from popcorn sales....Haven’t been the the movies since ET. Won’t pay the price....


34 posted on 03/05/2012 4:39:59 PM PST by goat granny
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To: grundle

So don’t buy any.


35 posted on 03/05/2012 4:54:04 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopaths.)
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To: Brookhaven

Thanks!


36 posted on 03/05/2012 5:55:53 PM PST by grundle
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To: tomkat

Thanks!


37 posted on 03/05/2012 5:56:29 PM PST by grundle
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To: jiggyboy

Thanks!


38 posted on 03/05/2012 5:58:27 PM PST by grundle
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To: discostu

Lowering prices would result in selling more candy, but it wouldn’t result in more profit. Look at it this way (using big round numbers to exaggerate the effect).

Scenario 1:

Sell 100 candy bars at $10.00 each.
Theater’s cost of each candy bar = $1.00.
Gross income - cost = profit: $1,000 - 100 = $900 profit

Scenario 2:

Sell 500 candy bars at $2.00 each.
Theater’s cost of each candy bar = $1.00.
Gross income - cost = profit: $1,000 - $500 = $500

Selling more product does not always mean more profits. In this case, the theater made $400 more profit by selling a few high priced candy bars than it would have by selling a lot of low priced candy bars.

This is another reason food is so expensive at theaters. It’s more profitable to sell a few expensive items, than to sell a lot of cheap items.


39 posted on 03/06/2012 6:19:57 AM PST by Brookhaven (Mitt Romney will right-size the economy--just like he did your job when he bought your company)
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To: Brookhaven

It all depends on how many you sell. I know that as prices increase or decrease the number of customers varies. I doubt highly that if they dropped the prices to 1/5 they’d only see sales go up 5 times, I think they go up 10 times at least. Outside of the world of movie theaters candy bars are an impulse buy, one of the reason they’re an impulse buy is they’re dirt cheap, a functionally negligible amount of money for most of the populace even in these times. Movie theaters have pushed the price way past the impulse buy line, if you force your customers to pre-plan whether or not they’re going to buy a candy bar then they’ll probably pre-plan to buy it someplace cheaper and smuggle it in. Putting impulse items at impulse prices will dramatically increase sales.


40 posted on 03/06/2012 7:23:00 AM PST by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: longtermmemmory

Even with a “down” audience they still sold 1.2 billion tickets last year, that’s 4 tickets for every man woman and child in the country. The content doesn’t seem to be driving people away.


41 posted on 03/06/2012 7:24:48 AM PST by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: grundle

I work for one of the last small town theaters.

We charge 5 bucks, 4 for kids.

Concessions - we still feel bad charging these prices - but we have to pay bills.

Popcorn - 3.00
Soda - 2.00
Candy - 2.00

We almost never show R rated movies - but make exceptions for something like Act Of Valor or Last Temptation.


42 posted on 03/06/2012 7:29:54 AM PST by 2ndamendmentpa
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To: discostu

Your “arthouse” probably has volunteers working in it, and doesn’t have to pay 98% of the ticket revenue to Hollyweird. IIRC, in the first week of a release, that is how much of ticket sales has to be remitted to the movie owners. Most “art movies” can be rented for a flat price.

I understand perfectly why the concession prices in theaters are so high. On the other hand, I don’t actually buy much in the way of concessions.

All things considered, Hollyweird should reduce what the theaters have to send back, so that they can make a decent profit. (Or theaters should get together with organized crime to help ‘em launder money - after all who can really say how many tickets or concessions were sold...)


43 posted on 03/06/2012 7:31:10 AM PST by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: discostu

Your “arthouse” probably has volunteers working in it, and doesn’t have to pay 98% of the ticket revenue to Hollyweird. IIRC, in the first week of a release, that is how much of ticket sales has to be remitted to the movie owners. Most “art movies” can be rented for a flat price.

I understand perfectly why the concession prices in theaters are so high. On the other hand, I don’t actually buy much in the way of concessions.

All things considered, Hollyweird should reduce what the theaters have to send back, so that they can make a decent profit. (Or theaters should get together with organized crime to help ‘em launder money - after all who can really say how many tickets or concessions were sold...)


44 posted on 03/06/2012 7:31:23 AM PST by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Little Ray

There’s certainly a more generally favorable situation for the arthouse theater, rentals are lower, employees are cheaper. Of course on the other hand a “successful” movie for them gets 200 attendees for 2 or 3 showing a day too. So there’s two sides to it.

I understand why the theaters THINK they need to charge those prices, but I think they’ve spiked them too far. Every time you raise the price of something a percentage of your potential buyers drop out, raise prices too high and that percentage goes high enough you’re now damaging the bottom line. I think movie theater concession prices are about 25% past that line. One of the only concessions I buy at the normal theaters I go to is the milkshake, I get them for 2 reasons, 1 they’re really good, but 2 they don’t actually charge that much, they’re about the same price as a good ice cream based milkshake anywhere you can get them, it’s a price competitive with the outside world.


45 posted on 03/06/2012 7:40:56 AM PST by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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