A costly affair

A costly affair

Reel truth

A costly affair

It has become unthinkable to catch a movie over the weekend at any of the multiplexes across the city. Tickets for all shows, from Friday evening to Sunday evening, are priced Rs 200 and above. And the beverages and short-eats (especially popcorn) available at these multiplexes sometimes cost more than the ticket itself.

A large family that wants to go to a movie may easily end up spending thousands on just tickets and food. Many people say that they would rather download a movie or watch a CD in the comforts of their homes. 

Binu Radhakrishnan, marketing manager, Neron Trading Company, says that he gets time only during weekends to watch a movie but it is becoming difficult for people from middle-class families to buy tickets at multiplexes on these days. “We are not only forced to spend an exorbitant amount on tickets but since we are not allowed to carry any food from outside, we are also forced to buy expensive beverages and snacks from within the multiplex,” he adds. He has stopped going to multiplexes but instead, chooses to download a movie 2 weeks after its release or watch it online.
“This is a cheaper option.”

Multiplexes and film distributors continue to make money while those at the receiving end feel that it is time the government capped ticket prices at multiplexes. “Most people have a weekend off which is why theatres are crowded then but watching a movie has become an expensive affair, thanks to the uneven ticket rates starting Friday evening through Saturday and Sunday,” says Aayush Krishnan, sales executive, Zahn Solutions. He thinks that a uniform ticket rate would encourage more people to come to the theatres and watch both the big budget and small budget ones with equal enthusiasm. “Now, people think twice before going to the theatre. Uniform rates will ensure increased revenue for all movies because more people will come in,” says Aayush.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce had earlier proposed uniform ticket rates for all language film industries but this proposal has not been taken forward. But now the government has formed a committee to address the issue of uniformity in pricing of movie tickets.

Kannada film director and producer, Rajendra Singh Babu, who is a part of the committee, says, “The government is considering putting a cap on the price of a
movie ticket at a maximum of Rs 120. This will not only bring more people to the
theatre but will also benefit all language industries, including the Kannada film industry,” he says.

The spiralling price of movie tickets indirectly encourages and promotes piracy, says Nithin Gowda, a student of engineering. “I have stopped going to the theatres because of the exorbitant ticket rates. I prefer buying CDs and DVDs from Majestic or downloading movies online. I know it is illegal but I watch all language films at a reasonable price,” he says.