"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

How the industry expects people to come for the smaller films at such high ticket prices? - (Articles on Cinema By Bobby Sing)

22 Nov, 2017 | Articles on Cinema

To begin with, let us take a look at some films released in the last few months as WAITING, PHULLU, RAAG DESH, SNIFF, TRAPPED, RUKH, NEWTON, RIBBON, KADWI HAWA and AJJI (released this week only).
To give you the ground reality, none of the above mentioned films are any below average, forgettable ventures and each one has something fresh and novel to present in terms of plot, execution and social message too. However the other bitter truth remains that I saw each one of the them with just 5-10 people in the theater and at times all alone too by personally requesting the manager (for the purpose of reviewing them).

Honestly only NEWTON managed to get the audience into the theater post its opening day, but whether one wishes to accept or not, the response was more because of the timely news of its selection as an Indian contender for the OSCARS than anything else. Because just a couple of months back the same Rajkkumar was there with his TRAPPED and it didn’t get any similar response from the audience proving the obvious.
Coming to the reason why such films are not getting any viewers in the multiplexes they get mostly released in?

It isn’t the case that people don’t wish to see such films or they don’t have any interest in trying anything out of the routine. As a matter of fact there does exists a decent viewership for such films, especially amongst the youngsters willing to watch something fresh, who are well versed with the quality content being made all over the globe, both in the world of cinema and the smaller screen (targeting the web-audience).

But the only thing stopping them all from visiting the theaters for such specific projects is the insanely higher ticket price and nothing else. Proving the crucial point, every week we see movie-buffs visiting the theaters for the major mainstream films featuring big stars and the chosen projects earning a huge amount too. But rarely one finds people coming to the multiplexes for such smaller off-beat films as they prefer to save that huge amount to be spent on the bigger films releasing almost every week in comparison.
To be specific, the passion for cinema is right there but the ticket prices are not allowing that passion to be fulfilled watching all kinds of films in the theaters due to the evident budget constraint.

In other words, now films cannot be seen on trial basis, just going for them getting impressed by a poster or a theme or just for giving a fair chance to a new director, producer or a young team coming up with a fresh take.

Now the general audience prefers to save their money for the biggies and thus such small, off-beat and experimental films suffer at the box-office even after having a great word-of-mouth or getting more than 3 star ratings from almost every critic in the media declaring it a worth-watching film.

So what can be the solution?

Interestingly the solution seems to be pretty simple, only if the exhibitors or the multiplex owners decide to implement it.

And the way out is to practice a balancing act while deciding the ticket prices of various films keeping in mind their demand in the audience.

To be clear, if the multiplexes are more than willing to increase the ticket prices for the biggies to gain some extra amount exploiting the crazy demand, then on the other hand they should also reduce the prices for comparatively smaller films to inspire the viewers for watching them in the theaters giving them a fair chance.

Giving you the actual picture, there would be a big number of people who will like to watch films like RIBBON, KADVI HAWA and AJJI in the theater at a ticket price of Rs.100-150/, but they will not go for such films if the ticket price ranges from Rs.250-400/- making a big whole in their pocket and that too involving a risk of watching a non-starcast, experimental film.

Thinking on the similar line, I repeatedly get surprised that the multiplexes are readily willing to cancel shows of such films in absence of minimum viewers (they quote 6-7 to be specific), but they are not willing to reduce prices of these films encouraging more people to go for it.

Wonder why selling 8-10 tickets at Rs.300/- is preferred by the multiplexes instead of selling 30-35 tickets for Rs.150/- giving them more money as well more potential buyers of their ‘high priced food-items’?

Summing up, increasing ticket prices for every Khan-Kapoor-Kumar film by the multiplexes is completely unjustified and pure exploitation of the viewers as an unethical business practice that can also be called ‘an uncontrolled legal black-marketing’ from the counters itself.

However the practice can easily be considered as justified, if these multiplexes also reduce the ticket prices for all smaller, off-beat, experimental films, giving them a fair chance to win over the audience as an ethical balancing act.
But until that happens we will keep witnessing cancelled shows of such films and people returning from the theaters in absence of sufficient ticket buyers……. severely hurting even the meaningful, worth watching films, unfortunately.

Or else, online movie portals such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar are completely going to change the film-business scenario much sooner than predicted.

Hope the article somehow reaches somewhere and triggers the much required change benefiting the viewers as well as the makers of such worth-watching films.


(Note: The article was also published on UC-News Mobile App in November 2017)

Tags : Why high ticket Prices for eve smaller films by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Articles on Cinema By Bobby Sing, Multiplex charging high ticket prices
22 Nov 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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