Movie theaters make a good chunk of their profits selling exorbitantly overpriced snacks to those of us who believe the moviegoing experience is not complete without a box of Sour Patch Kids and a bag of popcorn. Not so for Joshua Thompson, who filed a class-action suit against his local AMC theater in Michigan for price gouging. According to the Detroit Free Press, Thompson is seeking refunds for theater customers who overpaid for popcorn, candy and other food at the concession stand.
Thompson apparently brought his own snacks to the movies until AMC posted a sign banning outside foods and drinks. Then he went in empty-handed and paid $8 for Goobers and Coke, “nearly three times the $2.73 he paid for the same items at a nearby fast-food restaurant and drug store.”
His attorney told the paper that Thompson “got tired of being taken advantage of. It's hard to justify prices that are three and four times higher than anywhere else.” The suit alleges that AMC's concession stand prices amount to gouging, a violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.
At the end of the day, though, the suit may be more symbolic than anything else. According to legal experts cited in the article, the state's Consumer Protection Act does not apply to regulated businesses like movie theaters, so the action likely will stop before it even starts. Thompson will have to either continue shelling out for his beloved Goobers, or do what many of us do and pick up snacks at Rite-Aid, stash them on our person and ever so casually sneak past the high school-age ushers.