Two years ago, the Center for Science in the Public Interest sent popcorn samples from all three chains to an independent lab. Cinemark’s large popcorn had 910 calories and 1,500 milligrams of sodium. AMC’s had 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat. Regal’s medium popcorn had 1,200 calories, 980 milligrams of sodium, and 60 grams of saturated fat. And that’s not counting the buttery topping. Throw in a large soda to quench your popcorn-generated thirst, and you’ll get another 400 to 500 calories.
These numbers aren’t just astronomically bad. They’re bigger than what the chains reported to CSPI. AMC’s large popcorn had 50 percent more calories and 75 percent more saturated fat than the company asserted. Regal’s popcorn also scored worse in the lab test than advertised.