These States Spend The Most On Movie Theater Snacks

And it turns out an overwhelming amount of moviegoers prefer salty versus sweet.

With this being the summer of Barbenheimer, we've had a lot of opportunity to think about our favorite movie theater snacks. recently conducted a survey of 2,000 moviegoers about their favorite concessions, and most of the data isn't very revealing; America's favorite snacks and drinks at the movies are pretty much what you think they are. However, the responses also indicate which states are willing to spend the most money per theater visit, and that list is more revealing.

America’s favorite drinks and snacks at the movies

One snack crushed them all: salty, buttery popcorn. We don't imagine you're too surprised by that. In fact, salty popcorn is the favorite snack of 45 states—and the "salty" descriptor is important, because one state that prefers its popcorn sweet, and that's Nevada. Think caramel and kettle corn, which solve the popcorn-vs.-candy conundrum in one fell swoop.


Of those states that prefer non-popcorn snacks, Wyoming reaches for Junior Mints, Delaware loves Reese's Pieces, and three-way ties occurred in both Vermont (Skittles, soft pretzels, and Twizzlers) and Kansas (Reese's Pieces, Junior Mints, and salty popcorn).

In a whopping 43 U.S. states, the soft drink of choice is, as you'd imagine, Coca-Cola. Of the outliers, Montana moviegoers were torn between Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper, while Arkansas came in with a tie between Coca-Cola and... water. Of course, this isn't necessarily just a preference for Coke products. As we've seen with chain restaurants, a huge contingent of U.S. businesses have contracts with Coca-Cola to stock those beverages, and that includes movie theaters. So it's no big surprise that customers opt for the limited number of options available at the fountain.


Delaware and Utah both prefer water above everything else, and I have to admit, I'm a boring water-at-the-movies person myself. New Hampshire likes 7UP, and Oklahoma's firmly in the Dr. Pepper camp. Oh, and Vermonters eschew regular fountain drinks altogether, preferring to sip on slushies during their movies.

The U.S. states that spend the most money on movie concessions

Here's where the numbers get pretty interesting. If you're curious about the state that spends the most on movie concessions in one trip per person, it's Mississippi. The average moviegoer's tab there runs around $23.81 per person, which seems pretty steep. Coming in at a close second place, Alabama spends nearly as much per person, $23.53. And in third is Wyoming, with an average of $20 per moviegoer. Keep in mind, this is all in addition to the ticket price. Since the data is survey-based, it's possible people aren't the best at self-reporting this type of spending—or maybe they feel so gouged that they recall precisely how much they shelled out on popcorn and a pretzel when they saw Dead Reckoning Part One.


The state that somehow manages to escape the siren call of movie theater snacks most of all is Utah, whose average cinema snack receipt is $8.40. Either that, or residents of Utah are really adept at sneaking snacks into the theater. So how about you? When you hit up the movie theater, which snacks and drinks do you prefer?