Film industry likely to protest ticket price cap: Mukta Arts MD Rahul Puri

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Bengaluru | Published: March 27, 2017 7:12:59 PM

The film exhibition industry would in all likelihood oppose Karnataka government's move to cap movie ticket prices at Rs 200 as it is against free market concept, Mukta Arts Managing Director Rahul Puri today said.

Recently, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had, in his 2016-17 budget speech, proposed a maximum ceiling of Rs 200 in admission fee at cinema theatres, including multiplexes. (Reuters)

The film exhibition industry would in all likelihood oppose Karnataka government’s move to cap movie ticket prices at Rs 200 as it is against free market concept, Mukta Arts Managing Director Rahul Puri today said. “If the bill is passed, the industry in all likelihood will fight any such move and would approach the government to find a way out. Price capping as a concept is against free market, and therefore the industry would be extremely cautious,” Puri told PTI in an email.

Recently, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had, in his 2016-17 budget speech, proposed a maximum ceiling of Rs 200 in admission fee at cinema theatres, including multiplexes. It also proposed to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen Kannada and regional cinema during prime time. There were demands from various stakeholders of the film industry to the government, urging it to cap multiplex entry fee at Rs 120 on the lines of neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Asked whether the capping in Tamil Nadu has affected the industry and Mukta Arts, Puri said, “We don’t have any theatres in Tamil Nadu at the moment so we are unaffected at this point.”

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Asked whether Mukta Arts have recovered losses that they had incurred during demonetisation and its impact on exhibition business, Puri said the business was affected in initial weeks, especially in smaller centres where the shift to online payment was not so easy. In bigger cities, the switch came swiftly and hence losses were kept to a minimum. “It did affect the business to a degree in the initial weeks. Certainly in smaller centres where the shift to online payment was not so easy. In bigger cities though the switch came swiftly, so losses were kept to a minimum,” he said.

Puri also said demonetization didn’t hurt the industry as badly as poor content did in that period, and hence it was a bit of a double whammy. “Demonetisation remember didn’t hurt ‘Dangal’ at all as it went on to be the highest grosser ever. So the issue was more content related,” he said.

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