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scare our patrons away with high prices. So everything is weighed carefully — from the buzz of the film to the actor, director and things like the location of the release. We are always in touch with our theatre managers to know the response to the hike and if need be, lower the price accordingly. But this hike is not applicable to every film. The only films which warranted a price hike before Chennai this year were Race 2 and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, but the hike was not as much as Chennai,” explains Dalia, adding that ticket prices in multiplexes are flexible as rates vary not only for weekdays and weekends, but from show to show. “Ticket rates are also slashed during slack periods like exam time and pre Diwali season, so an increase at the time of a big budget release is justified. In the forthcoming films Krrish 3, which releases on Diwali and has a big star like Hrithik Roshan and Dhoom 3, which has Aamir Khan and releases on Christmas, will fall into the category of Chennai. Besharam too can be counted as a big release as Ranbir is now in the big league,” elaborates Dalia.
But who, among exhibitors, distributors and producers, decides a hiked price? While distributor Anil Thadani says that it is a consensus between the three stakeholders, Dalia states that it is the exhibitors who has the final word on ticket pricing. Corroborating Dalia’s view, single screen owner Manoj Desai of Mumbai’s single screens G 7 and Maratha Mandir, states that he refuses to hike ticket prices whatever the season, whoever the star in the film and whatever the pressure from the distributor. “Ticket price hike is every theatre’s individual policy. The government also has laid no restriction in this issue as they benefit from the increased entertainment tax. I wouldn’t like to comment on multiplexes, but we have released so many big films over the years and have always stuck to our ticket prices. I would rather see a housefull board than a half empty hall,” he says.
Even if single screen