The Karnataka government is likely to fix a maximum cap on what multiplexes can charge for a movie ticket: Rs.120. Reliable sources reportedly told Bangalore Mirror that the decision is expected to be announced in the state budget, which is tentatively scheduled for March 18.
The government decision is inspired by the Tamil Nadu model and is on the back of recommendations given by a committee formed to revise Karnataka's film policy. A minimum price of Rs.100 has also been recommended.
Bengaluru boasts of the highest average ticket prices in multiplexes in south India. This could see a surge in footfalls in Bengaluru theatres, which otherwise attract dismal numbers.
A report prepared by TA Pai Management Institute cited high ticket prices in multiplexes as one of the biggest grouses of film audience in Karnataka and has now come handy while making this recommendation. Representatives of the film industry are to meet the chief minister Siddaramaiah on March 11 for a pre-budget meeting.
Bengaluru has 24,800 multiplex seats in around 130 screens. The average ticket price is Rs 250, marketing consultant Prashanth Sambargi said to the Bangalore Mirror, adding that the move will help both audience and producers.
This is not however the first time such a proposal is being mooted. In 2014 too, the Karnataka government had tried to cap the prices. Karnataka's information minister, Roshan Baig had then told NDTV, "We are being looted, why must one pay 400 to 600 rupees for a ticket? We have spoken to the Chief Minister and are speaking to the Commercial Tax Department as well."