Table of party food

Movie Marathon Food Checklists

A movie marathon should be a party! And what do all good parties have in common? Abundant and awesome food! But what food, and how much, should you buy so that everyone is happy and you don’t break the bank? Use my movie marathon food checklists below for help.

First some ground rules. These checklists assume you are hosting a 24-hour movie marathon in your home, held from noon to noon, with party goers coming and going as they please (some staying for the whole thing, many popping in and out to watch a few movies). If your movie marathon follows a different schedule, you may want to supply more or less food of one type or another. In other words, your mileage may vary!

Pizza Checklist

News flash: Americans love pizza. Pizza is a staple of movie marathons because everyone loves it and it is a cheap way to feed a lot of people. The only real questions you need to ask are “What kind of pizzas should I get?” and “How much pizza should I get?”

What Kind of Pizzas Should You Order?

The “what kind?” question can be boiled down to some simple proportions. Cheese pizzas should be ordered the most. They are crowd-pleasers since not everyone eats meat, not everyone likes vegetables, and nobody can agree on the perfect combination of toppings. A minority of your attendees will be passionate for meat, and another health conscious minority will want plants. A third minority may have dietary restrictions or may all just like a strange combination of toppings (my favorite is black and green olives!).

All of this adds up to the following simple checklist:

  1. Does your order consist of about 40% cheese pizzas?
  2. Does your order consist of about 20% meat lover’s pizzas?
  3. Does your order consist of about 20% veggie lover’s pizzas?
  4. Does your order consist of about 20% specialty pizzas? (e.g. gluten free? An oddball topping your circle of friends like?)

How Many Pizzas Should You Order?

My extensive pizzalogy research has shown that your average movie marathon attendee consumes about two large pizza slices over the course of the marathon. This may sound like a surprisingly low number, but the average goes down because people will arrive at different times throughout your movie marathon event. If someone arrives at, say, 8:00 AM in the morning, they will typically go after breakfast food, not leftover pizzas from noon the day before. If your movie marathon will have a lot of people appearing for pizza lunch, you may need more pizza.

Once you establish the number of slices, the next thing to consider is the overall size of the pizza. You should buy the largest pizza size available. An analysis by NPR recently demonstrated you will get a surprising amount value for your money with larger pizza sizes.

You can summarize all of this thought into two simple questions:

  1. Are you ordering the largest possible pizza size?
  2. Are you ordering enough pizza for two slices per confirmed attendee?

Soft Drink Checklist

I have studied the subtle nuances of drink consumption at movie marathons, and have determined it’s a pretty simple formula. The average movie marathon attendee consumes about one liter of fluids over the course of the movie marathon. This, of course, means some drink more and some drink less.

Diet soda is the most popular, followed by regular soda, and with a distant third place going to juice and flavored water. Everyone likes their carbonated caffeine! In most of my past movie marathon, coffee and tea drinkers are limited to just one or two people.

  1. Do you have about one liter of liquid per confirmed attendee?
  2. Is about 50% of that diet soda pop (e.g. Diet Coke)?
  3. Is about 35% of that regular soda pop (e.g. Coke)?
  4. Is about 10% of that juice for breakfast or for kids (e.g. orange juice)?
  5. Is about 5% of that flavored water?
  6. Do you have any coffee-drinkers attending?
  7. Do you have any tea-drinkers attending?

Snacks Checklist

It’s a little harder to nail down how many snacks people eat during a 24-hour movie marathon. I can tell you they eat a lot of snacks. This checklist consists of the most popular snacks I’ve served at my movie marathons (i.e. the stuff people actually ate the most).

  1. Do you have one main appetizer for dinner (e.g. Spanakopita)?
  2. Do you have a veggie tray?
  3. Do you have a fruit tray?
  4. Do you have potato chips?
  5. Do you have doritos?
  6. Do you have cheetoes?
  7. Do you have triscuts?
  8. Do you have popcorn?
  9. Do you have some desserts?

Breakfast Checklist

Your movie marathon is 24 hours. That means you need to eat breakfast at some point! It isn’t all about pizza and chips, now is it?

  1. Do you have a variety of bagels?
  2. Do you have cream cheese?
  3. Do you have bacon?

For Further Reference



Photo by chrissy polcino

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