PVR Cinemas Multiplex
Draft film policy committee has recommended that movie tickets be capped at Rs. 120. Pictured: Cinema-goers wait to collect their tickets at a PVR Multiplex in Mumbai Nov. 10, 2013.Reuters file

Cost of a film ticket at multiplex screens across Karnataka could be capped at Rs. 120, if the recommendations of a committee formed to draft a new film policy are implemented. The 14-member committee has also proposed making it mandatory for multiplexes to have two prime time shows of Kannada films on two screens every day.

The recommendations, if implemented by the state government, would bring cheer to movie buffs who have to spend Rs. 300, or even more, for a ticket on weekends. The draft film policy was submitted to the government on Tuesday.

"These two recommendations are also based on a survey report, titled Kannada Film Industry: Challenges and the Way Forward by T.A. Pai Management Institute. The Kannada film industry recently launched an online campaign over both these demands," SV Rajendra Singh Babu, the Chairperson of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy, who headed the committee, was quoted as saying by the Hindu.

The draft film policy made two other recommendations:

  • A subsidy of Rs. 50 lakh for those building Janata (public) theatres, on the lines of Amma theatres in Tamil Nadu. This would make movie watching affordable for the masses.
  • Karnataka government to offer subsidy of Rs. 25 lakh for renovating old theatres. 

The Karnataka state government is likely to follow Tamil Nadu's model of pricing movie tickets in the state. Interestingly, this move by the state government is likely to generate additional revenues for multiplex owners and keep the box office busy even during otherwise lean times, feel industry watchers.

"A cap on ticket prices will see increase in footfalls. Even a new filmmaker will stand a chance. There will be new blood in the system and one will see people shifting from single screens. It is also good for the producers as they will see incremental sale because of lower ticket prices," marketing consultant Prashant Sambargi was quoted as saying by Bangalore Mirror.

Bengaluru has about 24,800 multiplex seats across 130 screens. The average ticket price for a movie in the city is Rs. 250. The IT city has the highest average price in multiplexes in South India. On weekends, the price of each ticket goes up to Rs. 700.

At present, occupancy in multiplexes in Bangalore ranges from 38 percent to 50 percent.

The Inox Leisure stock was trading at Rs. 261.50 at around 1.02 p.m. on Wednesday, down 1.41 percent from its previous close. Shares of PVR Ltd. were trading at Rs. 1,183.25, up 0.62 percent around the same time on the Bombay Stock Exchange.