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Texas Man Sues Cinemark, Says Movie Theaters Shortchange Customers on Drinks

— April 24, 2024

A man from North Texas has filed a lawsuit against Cinemark, claiming that the movie theaters’ 24-ounce cups can only hold 22 ounces of fluid.

A Texas man is suing Cinemark, claiming that its theaters intentionally misrepresent the size of their largest beverage containers.

According to CNN, the proposed class action was filed earlier this week in a Texas-based federal court. In the complaint, lead plaintiff Shane Waldrop states that he purchased a 24-ounce beer from Cinemark on Valentine’s Day.

However, Waldrop quickly suspected that the container was too small to hold 24 ounces of beer.

And, when he took the container home to test its capacity, Waldrop found that his 24-ounce cup was, in fact, a 22-ounce cup.

“[Cinemark’s] packaging and advertising of its 24 oz drinks [violates] various state laws against misbranding, which mirror federal law,” the class action says, further alleging that this apparent “misbranding” is intentional and park of the company’s standard practices.

“Defendant,” the lawsuit claims, “has routinely and purposefully packaged 24 oz drinks in containers made, formed, or filled to mislead consumers into believing they were receiving more liquid than they actually purchased and received.”

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

“[…] Any reasonable purchaser would have relied in substantial part on Defendant’s representations in its advertising and related pricing when making the decision to purchase a 24 oz drink from [Cinemark],” it adds. “Accordingly, Plaintiff and the Class members relied on the sizes of the containers to believe that the entire volume of the packaging of the products would be filled to capacity […] particularly since the actual volume was purposely concealed by the Defendant.”

Attorneys for Waldrop emphasized that Cinemark visitors who purchase a 24-ounce beverage container are getting a bad deal.

“The 24 oz drink should provide a deal for consumers over the 20 oz drink’s price: $0.37 per ounce vs. $0.39 per ounce,” the lawsuit says. “But due to the actual volume of 22 oz available in the “24 oz” drink, the price is $0.40 per ounce making the larger drink more expensive per ounce, which is not a deal at all.”

Even if the difference in prices is a matter of cents, attorney Jarrett Ellzey told CNN, companies like Cinemark—which has locations across the country—can still repeat massive profits off what might otherwise seem like a minor mistake.

“This lawsuit is another example of consumers unwittingly overpaying for a supposed benefit they are not receiving,” Ellzey said. “While two ounces may seem inconsequential to the seller, the bottom line is the buyer is not getting what he’s promised by the seller.”

The Hollywood Reporter notes that the complaint does not mention whether Cinemark’s 20-ounce cup can actually hold 20 ounces of liquid.


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