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

February 18, 2015, 7:24 PM UTC
A couple watch a big screen outside movi
A couple watch a big screen outside movie theaters of the US cinema chain AMC Entertainment in Monterey Park, east of downtown Los Angeles on May 22, 2012 in California.
Photograph by Frederic J. Brown — AFP/Getty Images

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.