Moviegoer Spills the Tea: Cinemark Accused of Underfilling Drinks in Class Action Lawsuit

cinemark drinks not as full as advertised

Lawsuit Claims Cinemark's 24-Ounce Drink Containers Fall Short On Advertised Volume.

We all know going to the movies is hardly a cheap outing, especially once you’ve loaded up on movie snacks. 

But one Texas man says Cinemark – which operates movie theaters across the country – has taken it a step too far, selling moviegoers expensive 24 oz drink containers that are incapable of holding that much liquid.

On April 16, Shane Waldrop filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Cinemark USA Inc in a Texas federal court, alleging the company misled consumers, violating state and federal consumer laws.

Customer says size matters, sues over allegedly short drinks

Waldrop’s drink saga began when he went to a Texas Cinemark movie theater on Valentine’s Day this year and bought both a 20 oz and a 24 oz of draft beer. 

He said the two plastic containers contain marks that list the alleged number of ounces the containers hold.

Waldrop says he noticed the 24 oz container did not seem large enough to hold 24 ounces. So he says he took the empty container from the theater and measured the amount of liquid it could hold. He says he found the 24 oz container could not hold 24 ounces of liquid. 

“Instead it was merely able to contain 22 ounces of liquid,” he alleges.

Waldrop says the containers were intentionally designed and marketed to mislead consumers into believing they were getting a twelfth more drink than they were.

Missing ounces, higher prices: Lawsuit claims Cinemark profits from misleading sizes

Cinemark markets and sells the deceptive 24 oz drinks at a premium price, despite the containers being physically incapable of holding that amount of liquid, Waldrop says.

The practice has been a boon for the company’s bottom line, at moviegoers' expense, the lawsuit says.

It says Cinemark’s practice is “especially misleading” since the 24-ounce drink should be a deal over the price of a 20-ounce drink, at $0.37 per ounce versus $0.39 per ounce, respectively. 

However, due to the actual volume of 22 ounces available in the purported 24-ounce drink, the price of the beverage is $0.40 per ounce, making the larger size “more expensive per ounce, which is not a deal at all,” Waldrop says,

“Defendant has reaped enormous profits from its false, misleading, and deceptive packaging and sale of its 24 oz drinks,” he adds.

Not just Cinemark: Movie theater industry faces flurry of lawsuits

Cinemark is not the only company facing legal troubles. In January, AMC Theatres was hit with a proposed class action lawsuit alleging the movie theater chain misled customers by adding a convenience fee before checkout on online ticket purchases. The lawsuit claims this practice violates New York's Arts and Cultural Affairs Law because the fee isn't included in the advertised ticket price at the outset.

Regal Cinemas is also facing a class action lawsuit alleging it has been charging an undisclosed $1.80 "booking fee" per ticket at checkout on its website

Waldrop is suing Cinemark for violations of the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act and state consumer laws, and is seeking certification of the class action, damages, fees, costs and a jury trial. 

The plaintiffs and the proposed class are represented by Ellzey & Associates PLLC and Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr P.C.

The Cinemark misleading drink volume class action lawsuit is Waldrop et al., v. Cinemark USA, Case No. 4:24-cv-00321 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.