Mr Vidhu Vinod Chopra, are we idiots?
Posted December 23, 2009on:
MINAKSHI SAHNI (Hindustan Times; December 21, 2009)
Aamir Khan may be going to town calling himself an idiot in a bid to promote his upcoming movie, but if the producers of 3 idiots and Delhi’s multiplex owners have their way, it is the moviegoer who may end up feeling like an idiot. With one of the most anticipated movies of the year set to hit theatres on Christmas, multiplex owners have decided to hike ticket prices for the movie by as much as 35 per cent. In short, a movie outing for four, which would otherwise cost Rs 600-800, would rob you by nearly Rs 2,000!
Reap when ripe
“We are looking at an increase of 20-30 per cent on weekdays and 35 per cent on the weekends across all our properties,” says Deepak Taluja of Fun Cinemas, explaining that multiplexes can increase ticket prices only twice a year and they look forward to the release of much awaited films to maximise on the opportunity. “Distributors approached us with this idea. So for 3 idiots, whose booking opens on Wednesday, we have increased our morning show price by 33 per cent with a marginal increase in others,” adds Rehan Ahmad of SRS Cinemas. PVR Cinemas and Satyam Cineplex while confirming an increase in ticket prices for 3 idiots, refused to divulge the exact hike, saying their management would meet to decide.
All izz not well
Shocked at the prospect of shelling out anywhere between Rs 350-1,000 (gold class) for a single ticket, youngsters are already feeling the pinch. “You can’t be sucking money just because the movie is highly anticipated,” says communication consultant Pupul Sinha, 26. College goers, who prefer the morning shows, are equally annoyed. “We are the worst hit of the lot,” says Fine Arts student Mahima Saraswat.
“Are we idiots? Who will pay so much, no matter how good a film is?” asks engineering student Mohit Sahni raising another vital point. “By doing this, they are inviting people to opt for the pirated version,” he adds.
The film’s producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, when contacted, said, “Talk to the cinema halls as I have no say in it.” But a source from the production revealed, “3 Idiots is a film people won’t mind shelling extra money for. That’s the strategy behind this decision.”
It is going to pinch
A morning show ticket usually costs Rs 50-75. The price may go well above Rs 150 – 200.
Gold Class tickets in PVRs may go up from Rs 850 to Rs 1000.
Multiplexes had increased their prices marginally when Om Shanti Om, Ghajini and Kambakkht Ishq had released.
While multiplexes are looking to hike ticket prices, single screen theatres want to counter this by going ahead with same prices [Rs 70-80 for Balcony, Rs 50-60 for Rear Stall and Rs 20-40 for the Front Stall]. Says RK Malhotra of Delite, “It is going to be unfair on the audience and secondly it is a win-win situation for us.” “The film is meant for college students, so a price hike would affect business negatively,” says Kishan of Sheila cinema.