Ordering popcorn at the movie theater has gotten a lot more interesting — and much more expensive — in recent years.

As movie studios and theaters scramble to generate more income in the face of declining box office revenue, they've turned to merchandising. The simple paper buckets of the past have been upstaged by highly detailed plastic and tin works of art featuring characters or props from Hollywood's latest blockbusters. They can sell for anywhere from $10 to $25 dollars, creating an irresistible new revenue opportunity for the struggling industry.

You can see a gallery of 2024's best popcorn bucket designs below.

The already popular trend kicked into a much higher gear earlier this year with the debut of the instantly infamous Dune: Part Two sandworm popcorn bucket. As impossible as it seems the designers insist they didn’t realize the bucket, which looks a lot like a sex toy, would set the internet n on fire with NSFW jokes such as "I'm just here to f— the popcorn bucket" and "extra butter, no popcorn."

“You don't know what the internet is going to latch on to and how they're going to latch on to it,” Marcus Gonzalez, global creative director of Zinc Group, which designed the Dune: Part Two bucket, told Polygon. The bucket sold out almost instantly and still sells on eBay for at least three times its original price.

Things have only gotten more out of hand since then, with Deadpool & Wolverine attempting to outdo Dune: Part Two with its own suggestive popcorn bucket nearly two months ahead of its July release date, and Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire unveiling five completely different designs. Your move, Despicable Me 4...

Movie Popcorn Bucket Mania: 2024's Wildest Designs

After the 'Dune: Part Two' bucket set the internet on fire, popcorn container designs have gone into overdrive.

Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening

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