The new trend of increasing the ticket rates of big starrer movies from past couple of years has been a topic of debate between the distributors and exhibitors. But, it is the audience who bares it all on their pockets. This time around the scenario is bit different with one of the top exhibitors, Manoj Desai, Executive director of G7 Multiplex (Gaiety Galaxy) and Maratha Mandir Cinema, who has decided to shelve Aamir Khan’s PK over a disagreement of increasing the ticket rates.
Talking exclusively to Koimoi, Manoj Desai said, “I was not allowed to open the advance booking for PK and was asked to increase the ticket price from Rs 80 & 100 to Rs 150 & 250 for lower and upper stall respectively. I was given a condition that unless I increase the ticket price I won’t be given the film and hence with due respect to Aamir Khan and Rajkumar Hirani, I preferred shelving the film instead of taking undue advantage of my patrons, my public coming to my theatres by increasing the ticket rates. The discussion continued for two days with Mr. Vinay Choksi of VIP Enterprises who book my theatres, and he was not ready to give me the film if I did not agree to their terms of hiking the ticket rates. Hence, after an unsettled meeting last evening, I decided to shelve the film.”
Looking at the business perspective of a movie like PK which has a strong potential of making humongous business at Box Office and giving huge profits to both exhibitors and distributors, will now see a dip affecting both the parties.
“I give highest collections because of low ticket price; had I increased the ticket rate of DDLJ then it would not have run for 20 years. I know by not screening PK I will make loss in lakhs, but I am fine bearing the loss rather than bowing down unlike others who have agreed to their terms and conditions. If today I agree to hike my ticket price then tomorrow there will be someone else who will ask me to do the same, which I don’t favour at all. It’s high time that makers realize that they cannot force their films by positioning it as the best or good film, because if the movie gets misfired then it will land nowhere. And I have seen big films having faced such kind of situation. This is the first time ever that my good friend Aamir’s movie will not release in my theatres. But, with this an example will be set for other upcoming films.” Said Mr. Desai.
Confirming the news Mr. Vinay Choksi said, “Yes! PK will not be released in Maratha Mandir Cinema and Gaiety Galaxy – G7. They contribute highest collection only amongst the single screens and not overall. If the exhibitor is ready to let go business and few lakhs does not bother them, then we cannot stop their mind. But, the matter of fact is that they are not agreeing to increase the ticket rates, because their audience will break, as the regular audience at Gaiety Galaxy and Maratha Mandir Cinema cannot afford the high ticket price. Hence, it’s a loss for both distributor and exhibitor.”