Small producers struggle to break even
The small budget producers in the Telugu film industry are always at the receiving end. This time round, the problem has reached its peak — mounting expenditure and almost nil returns. Based on the request of the Producers Council and the Film Chamber of Commerce, a committee has been formed by the government to look into the problems faced by the industry regarding ticket pricing.
Some years back theatre owners would fix their own rates for tickets and pay their taxes but now there is a restriction on admission rates. One is allowed to sell the tickets at a higher price only for the first two weeks and revert to its original price.
Venkatesh R. Daamidi says
, “the recently-mushroomed multiplexes are charging Rs. 100 per ticket with entertainment and tax-free provisions by installing same kind of equipment. Whether one buys a sound system or a chair for a theatre, one buys it for the same price irrespective of its location in the State, similarly like multiplexes the single screens should also be charging at least Rs. 50 or 60 in Hyderabad. ”
The multiplexes make roaring business with the internet bookings by the Corporates in advance. A small budget producer cannot release his film in additional theatres expecting it to do well. And a big budget film? It is imperative they break even in the first two weeks by releasing it with maximum prints.
Film exhibitor Muralimohan Rao from Karimnagar, Secretary of Hyderabad State Film Chamber of Commerce says that many theatre owners, unable to pay the power bills, have converted from AC to air cooling. It would take at least 50 lakhs or one crore to upgrade the facilities. This can happen only when the government brings down the 8 per cent tax to 3 per cent and at the same time a producer should have the opportunity to increase the prints from 35 to 50 prints.
Finally, everyone is of the opinion that cinema is an industry but none of the provisions and power tariffs are being made available to it.Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY