Saving Money / Entertainment
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As fans flocked to the $300 million “Top Gun: Maverick” opening weekend, theater owners celebrated. But behind the scenes, an even more biting storyline unfolds than the incredible on-screen flight sequences. Will the concession stand have enough popcorn to satisfy hungry customers?
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As early as April 25, 2022, film industry professionals were expecting a shortage not only of popcorn, but also of the containers in which it is served. The subject was brought up at CinemaCon, where Norm Krug, General Manager of Preferred Popcorn, said, “The popcorn supply is tight. His company is made up of farmers who supply popcorn kernels to movie theaters, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
Inflation and “other economic factors,” according to WSJ.com, are forcing the company to pay farmers more than in the past to continue growing corn for popcorn instead of other crops. more profitable and easier to grow, like soybeans.
Additionally, bags that traditionally hold popcorn are also hard to find, as producers cannot secure the shiny liners that prevent the buttery flavor from seeping out of the container. Sure, there are always cardboard buckets or even plastic containers, but that could drive up costs for movie theaters and, therefore, for consumers.
Theater owners also mentioned other shortages caused by supply chain issues, including some flavors of soda, nacho trays and cups. Meanwhile, the owners told WSJ.com that showgoers are buying more giveaways for the show than ever before.
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“People spend [like] drunken sailors,” Brian Schultz, CEO of LOOK Dine-In Cinemas, told WSJ.com.
And what’s a trip to the movies without popcorn? “Pass the edamame”, just doesn’t have the same ringtone.