One of the major factors that has made Telugu film crowds head to the theatres more than any other state in the country has been the comfy ticket prices. The fact that someone could enjoy a two-hour movie featuring their favourite star in an air-conditioned hall for a price below Rs 100 has been a good motivation for Telugu film watchers to head to the theatres.
But, things haven’t remained the same over the last month or so. Both the Telugu states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, have witnessed a steep hike in movie ticket prices across single screens and multiplexes. An average ticket in a good theatre (non-multiplex) at least costs Rs 150 now, while the multiplex screens charge anywhere between Rs 200- 350 per ticket.
From what we know, the cinematography departments in the two states have given the distributors a free hand in raising the prices of the tickets. In a state where movie watching boils to easy affordability, this move can indeed prove counterproductive, feel many. That there was only one commercially successful Telugu film in the entire month of December (Prati Roju Pandage) validates the same.
In a situation where major OTT platforms are offering yearly subscriptions at rates like Rs 999, Rs 365, Rs 650, the ticket price hikes don’t feel as welcoming. For Sankranti, as many as four films are ready to face the box office battle, including Darbar, Ala Vaikunthapurramulo, Entha Manchivaadavura and Sarileru Neekevvaru featuring stars like Rajinikanth, Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun in pivotal roles.
The die-hard fans of these stars wouldn’t exactly mind the hike maybe, but what would the average film watcher do after the second week? That’s where the OTT space danger sets in. The regular movie watcher, who might have wanted to catch the film in theatres, will now wait for the digital release instead. The section of such audiences may seem small now, but the faster film producers realise this, the better it’ll get for them.
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