The long-pending demand to cap ticket prices in multiplexes has been accepted by the Karnataka government. Henceforth no multiplex can charge more than Rs 200. This news has been met by positive response from audience. The Kannada film industry has also expressed its happiness, but there are a few who are not happy with the decision.The move of the government has benefited the movie goers. A person who had to shell out Rs 400 per ticket to watch a film at a multiplex and a romping thousands if he had to watch the movie with his family is now beaming a smile.
Sumukh, an IT engineer says, "Watching a film in Bengaluru is an expensive affair. I am a movie buff and watch almost all Bollywood films. The ticket rates are very high compared to other cities. I used to spend a lot. However with this cap, I am sure more people will prefer to watch films on big screen."
Kannada film industry to gain?
Kannada films, which are seeing a change in trend will also gain. Commenting on this, Sharan, an assistant director says, "Multiplexes used to mete out step-motherly treatment to Kannada films. Successful Kannada films were given only one show. The reason was that they could charge more from non-Kannada films and make more profits. However, with this cap on multiplex ticket rates, multiplexes will only gain more if they play Kannada films, as they are tax free. Therefore it is a win-win situation for Kannada films."
Top actors like Shivarajkumar, Upendra and Kiccha Sudeepa have praised this move. Most of the film industry personalities have praised this move. However a few from industry have expressed disappointment. Some feel that Kannada films will be at the losing end as they will be an evident revenue fall.
Big banner cinemas also will suffer
Many say that the cap on ticket is going to affect all films, including the big budget, big banner films.
The next in line for release is 'Bahubali-The Conclusion', which will release on April 28. Film pundits say that this film too will not be able to collect revenue as much as its first part because the ticket price was Rs 400 during release of the first part and when the second part will be out, the ticket cost would have dropped to Rs 200, out of which Rs 60 has to be kept aside as entertainment tax. All that the multiplexes will be left with is Rs 140 per ticket, which they will have to share with the distributors.
Many non-Kannada big budget films will suffer as their distribution rights will not fetch the same amount as it used to fetch. Commenting about this, a popular distributor of Tamil films in Bengaluru says, "Tamil films will suffer the most. In Karnataka, movies of top actors of Tamil are only performing well. With this cap, their rights will be sold at less price. Last year, "Kabali" was sold for Rs 10 crores to Rockline Venkatesh. He recovered the money with difficulty as the film did not do well after first weekend. All the theatres and multiplexes had hiked the ticket prices for first three days. A single screen like Urvashi charged Rs 500 as admission fee for first three days. If the film had released now, with cap on ticket price, it would have not even collected Rs 5 crores share."
The multiplexes in Karnataka are not happy with the decision. Sanjay, a manager of a popular multiplex in Bengaluru said, "The maintenance cost of multiplexes is very high. Therefore we charge a big amount as admission fee. We give very good service. This decision by Karnataka government will not be good for Karnataka in the long run. Multiplexes will stop coming here and Kannada films will suffer the most in future."
But, Hiren, manager of a multiplex in a tier 2 city says, "In tier 2 cities, it does not matter much, as we hardly charge more than Rs 200. Only multiplexes in Bengaluru charge such high rates. I feel in a way, this decision by government will also help multiplexes. People will start coming more to multiplexes to watch films due to low price."