Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

How Many Calories in a Large Movie Popcorn?

author image Becky Miller
Becky Miller, an ACE-certified personal trainer, has designed strength training programs for people of all ages and fitness levels since 2001. She specializes in empowering women of the baby-boomer generation. Her writing career began in 2004, authoring weekly fitness columns and feature articles for the "Navarre Press" in Florida. She earned her B.S. in business from the University of Colorado.
How Many Calories in a Large Movie Popcorn?
Couple sharing popcorn in movie theater Photo Credit: kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

A large serving of movie popcorn is high in calories and loaded with fat, especially saturated fat. It's not just the buttery topping that is pumped onto the popcorn, it's also the oils the popcorn is fried in, such as coconut or canola oil, that add calories. Ingredients, calories and serving sizes vary by movie chain.

Video of the Day


According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a large 20-cup bag of popcorn at a Regal theater contains 1,200 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat. At an AMC theater, a 16-cup large bag has 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat. At a Cinemark theater, a 17-cup large bag has 910 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat. Both Regal and AMC use coconut oil, which is 90 percent saturated fat, while Cinemark uses non-hydrogenated canola oil. The public interest group sent samples from major theater chains to an independent lab for testing. The popcorn results were published in the December 2009 issue of "Nutrition Action Health Letter."


These calories don't include any extra buttery topping. Two pumps of buttery topping will add at least another 240 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat to a large bag. When the Center for Science in the Public Interest had movie popcorn independently tested, the actual serving sizes were often larger than publicized, meaning you get even more calories for your money.


The purchase of a large bag of popcorn may come with free refills so there may be no limit to the numbers of calories you can consume while watching a movie. The saturated fat grams in a large bag of popcorn far exceed the 15 grams per day recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media