AMC will soon be selling popcorn at Walmart, available in both pre-popped and microwave options.
Movie theater popcorn isn’t just for movie theaters anymore. According to Deadline, AMC Entertainment is launching a new retail venture on March 11th: the brand will be selling AMC popcorn at Walmart stores and via the retailer’s website. “We continue to Make Movies Better,” says CEO Adam Aron, “this time in the comfort of your own home. And with popcorn now hitting shelves, we remain focused on future innovations that will continue to surprise and delight movie lovers and our shareholders.”
Up until this point, Aron and the rest of AMC Entertainment have been focusing intensely on getting people back into movie theaters because, well, his livelihood depends on it. So, it seems a bit odd that he would change tactics and offer movie fans a way to make their home theaters even more appealing with actual AMC movie theater popcorn.
AMC popcorn will come in three flavors: Classic Butter, Extra Butter, and Lightly Salted. It will also be available in both ready-to-eat bags and microwavable packages. The ready-made popcorn will run you $3.98 per bag, while the microwave version should run around $4.98 for a pack of six. They will all give you the “authentic taste of real movie theatre popcorn,” says Aron.
This new initiative will start with 2,600 Walmart locations carrying AMC’s popcorn and then expand into other stores later in the year. “We could not have found a better partner than Walmart for this important extension of the AMC experience into the home,” Aron said.
While it may seem a bit out of the blue, this AMC popcorn plan has actually been in motion behind the scenes since 2021, when the movie theater brand made a promise to its investors to bring the taste of movie theater snacks into people’s homes. Last year, AMC hired Ellen Copaken, the former executive of Pepsico, Frito-Lay, and Hostess Brands, to help with their growth strategy, which helped them to kick things into high gear and find the perfect store to sell their product.
Aside from AMC’s popcorn, the movie theater chain has been trying other ways to attract customers… even if they haven’t all been working out so well. At the beginning of February, AMC was met with a huge backlash when it tried to implement a tiered ticket pricing system in which moviegoers would pay different prices for tickets based on where their seat was in the theater.
The tiers seem to be pretty clearly based on how well one can see and enjoy the movie on the screen, with the best seats with a direct view costing more and the crappy, neck-craning seats being cheaper. As one might expect, this idea didn’t go over well with AMC customers, and no amount of movie theater popcorn will be able to convince them to get over it.
Funnily enough, AMC’s popcorn idea doesn’t seem to be much more appreciated than their tiered ticket pricing. So far, comments on the Deadline article linked above and other sources show that a lot of moviegoers actually aren’t even that crazy about AMC’s popcorn in the first place, which means it could potentially be a hard sell in stores.
Others point out the very obvious fact that if AMC’s popcorn plan is supposed to be a way to get people to come back to the theater, they can’t see how it will work, as they are just giving people “one more reason to stay at home.”
Unless, of course, the popcorn has some sort of mind-control capabilities that AMC can use to convince popcorn eaters to return to theaters… but that’s something that could probably only happen on the movie screens they’re trying to get everyone to come back to.