In a sudden fit of rage Friday, moviegoers across the country threw down their ten dollar popcorn, spat out their eight dollar sodas, and announced the commencement of a full-scale war against theaters.
“We have had enough,” read the statement. “From now on, we only buy tickets, nothing else. Also, we’re not going to watch the pre-movie ads anymore.”
The spontaneous army of six-million film watchers issued the statement just as box offices around the country were preparing for another blockbuster weekend thanks to such mega-hits as The Dark Knight, Step Brothers, and Kung Fu Panda.
Instead of greeting patrons anxious to buy junk food with three thousand percent markups, theater employees were barely able to escape with their lives as legions of angry fans stormed past the concession stands and into auditoriums without buying a single thing.
While no specific event can be pinpointed as triggering the outburst, former movie theater attendees cited a broad range of grievances that led to the declaration of war, from ten dollar tickets to perpetually-sticky floors.
“I just suddenly realized, I have a seventy-two-inch TV at home, so why should I be giving them anything more than the price of the ticket,” said Sandy Colbern, an anti-theater soldier from Duluth, Minnesota.
With ninety percent of movie theaters’ profit coming from sales of popcorn and sodas and eight percent coming from shameless pre-movie advertising, the movement is a huge blow to the industry.
“There is literally no way we can stay in business just by selling movie tickets,” said Kent Hartman, an executive with AMC Theatres. “Even at ten dollars, we’re losing money hand over fist.”
Theater attendance (and by extension, sales of overpriced concessions) is down eighty-three percent in the last four years due to rampant piracy. Not only did movie studios’ “you wouldn’t steal a car” anti-piracy ad campaign fail to reduce movie piracy, but recent statistics show that hundreds of thousands of car thieves have taken up movie piracy as well, worsening the problem.
Angry moviegoers have little pity for the theaters. “We won’t stop going to movies, not buying concessions, and not watching ads until we succeed in driving every last one of these blood-sucking monsters out of business,” read the declaration of war. “Or at least until they give us a coupon for some free popcorn or something.”