How many calories in a whole bag of Orville movie theater butter popcorn?

Quick Answer

A whole bag of Orville movie theater butter popcorn contains around 2,400 calories. The exact calorie count can vary slightly depending on the popcorn bag size and how much butter is added.

Calories in Orville Popcorn Bags

Orville Redenbacher is one of the most popular brands of microwave popcorn in the United States. They make several varieties of pre-packaged popcorn bags meant for movie theater style popcorn.

Here are the nutrition facts for some common Orville movie theater popcorn bag sizes:

Popcorn Bag Size Calories
3.3 oz 180 calories
5 oz 300 calories
6.5 oz 390 calories
10.5 oz 630 calories
20.0 oz 1,200 calories
46 oz 2,400 calories

As you can see, the calorie count ranges from 180 calories for a small single serving bag up to 2,400 calories for an extra large 46 oz movie theater style bag.

Nutrition Facts for Orville Butter Popcorn

In addition to the calories from the popcorn itself, movie theater style Orville popcorn gets extra calories from the butter topping.

Here are the nutrition facts for Orville Popcorn Movie Theater Butter:

Serving Size 1 tbsp (17g)
Calories 130
Total Fat 14g
Saturated Fat 3.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 330mg
Total Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 0g

As you can see, just 1 tablespoon of the butter topping adds 130 calories and 14g of fat. Movie theater popcorn usually gets completely coated in butter, so this can really add to the calorie count.

Calorie Estimates for Fully Prepared Movie Theater Popcorn

Taking into account the calories in the popcorn itself plus the butter topping, here are some estimates for the total calories in different sized bags of prepared movie theater popcorn from Orville Redenbacher:

Popcorn Bag Size Estimated Total Calories*
3.3 oz 270 calories
5 oz 450 calories
6.5 oz 540 calories
10.5 oz 810 calories
20 oz 1,500 calories
46 oz 2,400 calories

*Estimates based on popcorn fully coated with butter topping

As you go up in bag size, the calorie count increases significantly. A large 46 oz bag of movie theater popcorn can have around 2,400 calories. That’s more calories than many people should eat in an entire day!

Popcorn Nutrition Facts

Understanding the underlying nutrition facts of popcorn can help explain why movie theater popcorn is so high in calories:

Popcorn is High in Carbs and Calories

Popcorn is a whole grain food made from corn. Like most grains, it is high in carbohydrates.

A single cup of air-popped popcorn contains:

  • Calories: 55
  • Total Carbs: 14g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 2g

With most of those carbs coming from starch rather than sugar, popcorn is considered a healthy whole grain snack when consumed in moderation. However, movie theater popcorn servings are much larger than a single cup.

Butter Adds Fat and Calories

While air-popped popcorn is relatively low in calories, the butter topping drives up the calorie count of movie theater popcorn.

Butter is high in saturated fat and calories. Even though butter adds great flavor, just a tablespoon contains 102 calories and 12 grams of fat.

When popcorn is drenched in a cup or more of butter, the fat and calories quickly add up.

Large Serving Sizes

In addition to the butter, the large serving sizes for movie theater popcorn make it easy to overconsume calories.

While a reasonably sized 1-2 cup serving of popcorn may contain 100-200 calories, movie theater bags often contain 10 or more cups of popcorn.

Eating an entire bucket that big in one sitting can cause you to eat 1,000 extra calories or more.

Tips for Reducing Calories in Popcorn

You don’t have to give up popcorn completely if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake. Here are some tips for reducing the calories in popcorn:

Avoid Extra Butter

Butter is usually the biggest source of extra calories in movie theater popcorn. Request popcorn with no butter or just a light butter flavoring.

You can also ask for a butter spray on top instead of submerging it in a vat of melted butter.

Choose Smaller Sizes

Opt for a small or medium sized popcorn instead of the largest bucket size to cut calories.

Or, share a large bucket with a friend so you don’t overeat.

Air Pop Your Own

Air popped popcorn makes a delicious lighter option. You can customize it with just a spritz of olive oil and your favorite spices.

Portion into single servings cups to prevent overeating.

Count Your Calories

Being mindful of how many calories you are actually consuming can help. You may be surprised to see just how quickly movie popcorn calories add up.

Healthiest Ways to Eat Popcorn

Here are some healthy popcorn preparation methods:

Air Popped

Using an air popper is one of the lowest calorie options. Air popping provides light, fluffy popcorn with no oil or butter needed.

Stovetop with Minimal Oil

You can also make popcorn on the stovetop with minimal oil. Use just a teaspoon or so of oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.


Baking popcorn in an oven with just a mist of oil also minimizes the calories while still providing flavor.

Healthy Toppings

Flavor your popcorn with herbs, spices, Parmesan cheese, or just a light spritz of butter spray instead of pouring on melted butter.

The Bottom Line

Orville Redenbacher movie theater popcorn can contain a whopping 2,400 calories or more in their largest size bags. All that butter and the large serving sizes can cause this snack to have as many calories as multiple meals.

The good news is that popcorn can still be part of a healthy diet in moderation. Opt for reasonable serving sizes or lighter preparation methods to keep this tasty snack from going overboard on calories.

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