A couple watch a big screen outside movi
If you let them use their cell phones, will they come? Photograph by Frederic J. Brown — AFP/Getty Images

The sneaky way movie theaters are making up for falling ticket sales

Updated: Feb 18, 2015 8:04 PM UTC

With the rise of streaming services and other at-home entertainment options, fewer people are actually going through the trouble of going to the movie theater to enjoy a flick. After all, who wants to deal with sticky floors and sweaty seatmates when you'll be able to stream that movie from the comfort of your living room in just a few months?

That hasn't stopped AMC Entertainment (amc) from making money, though.

In an earnings report filed Tuesday, the movie theater chain saw ticket sales drop to $1.77 billion for 2014, compared with $1.85 billion for 2013. Overall revenues, though, only dropper to $2.70 billion from $2.75 billion.

How is the company making up for lost ticket sales? Easy — more expensive snacks.

Concession revenue for 2014 was $798 million, up from $787 million the previous year. Concession revenue per customer is up 7.8% on the year, thanks to higher prices.

So if your large soda and tub of buttery popcorn is putting you back even more than it used to, now you know why.