Make hay while Rajinikanth shines! This seems to be the mantra for theatre owners who are making a killing by selling Kabali tickets at exorbitant prices, much to the disappointment of hardcore superstar fans.
With Kabali slated to release in over 4,000 screens
worldwide on Friday (July 22), the demand for its tickets is
High Investment Leads To High Ticket Prices
"The Chengalpet area rights of 'Kabali' were bought for a
whopping Rs 18 Crore. In order to make profits, the film should
collect over Rs 30 Crore. If the tickets are sold at Rs 120, it's
impossible to recover the investment in the first few days," a
theatre owner said.
Crucial Opening Weekend
"The opening weekend is very important to recover as much as
investment as possible. In the case of a Rajinikanth-starrer, only
when you sell tickets at Rs 400-500, will you be able to see
profits, provided the film opens to positive word-of-mouth," said
another theatre owner
Kabali In US
In the US, tickets for Kabali premiere on Thursday
(July 21) are priced at $25, as opposed to
$14 or $15 for regular releases.
Prices In The US
"As an Indian, when I start converting the ticket price into
Indian money, it gives me a heart attack. But you don't get to see
two or three Rajinikanth releases in a year. I think it's worth it
for the euphoria his films bring," Madhusudhan, who has been living
in New York for over a decade, told IANS.
Kabali In Bangalore
In Bangalore, the tickets are priced at 1300 to 1400 rupees at
famous star hotels in and around the city. The craze in Bangalore
too, is high.
"Most theatres across the state (Tamil Nadu) have sold out
tickets for the opening weekend. With the average ticket costing Rs
600, most ardent Rajinikanth fans are disappointed that they
couldn't afford the tickets on the first day," trade analyst
Trinath told IANS.
Despite Tamil Nadu government's cap of Rs 120 on movie tickets,
theatre owners have been selling Kabali tickets at five
times higher than the original price.
"We are used to paying Rs 120 for movie tickets. But this sudden
exponential increase in ticket price is very unfair. The prices
vary according to the show timings. Early morning shows are sold at
Rs 500-600 and the prices are slashed through the course of the
day," rues Santhosh Kumar, a second year college student.
Some fans are seething over unavailability of tickets because
they were allegedly sold in bulk to corporates.
"We don't have issues with the ticket prices. It's once in two
or three years, you get a Thalaivar (Rajinikanth's) film. If you
can't shell out Rs 1,000 for your matinee idol, then what kind of a
fan are you," asks Muralikrishna, a chartered accountant.
Although most theatres give preference to fan club members, this
year they seem to have favoured corporate companies.
"Across major multiplexes, tickets on the first day were booked
by corporates. Some of these companies booked in bulk even before
the online booking started. I somehow managed to get a ticket
through a friend.
But when I tried to book five tickets for my family just minutes
after online bookings opened, it didn't even go through," said
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