At last, the government of Andhra Pradesh has issued the new G.O related to cinema ticket prices in the state. The government has delivered good news to the makers of Radhe Shyam, and RRR as it permitted price hikes and 5th shows. But what is the case with other biggies?
Firstly, the government has not hiked the maximum selling price. Rs 150+ GST and Rs 125+ GST are the MSP at multiplexes and single screens respectively in municipal corporations. Rs 125 and Rs 100 are the MSP at multiplexes in municipalities and panchayats. These rates will be of very little help for big-budget projects, until and unless price hikes are permitted unofficially.
What has changed is that the government has removed the Rs 5, Rs 10 ticket price cap restrictions in B and C centers. Non-AC theatres can now charge Rs 40, Rs 60 per ticket. This is, in a way, relief to B and C centres from unreasonable prices.
Special rates will be applicable for mega budget films, which have production cost amounting to Rs 100+ crores excluding remunerations. But the catch is that 20% of the shoot should be carried out in Andhra Pradesh. The question here is – who decides the location-based shoot percentage and the production costs.
The financial transactions pertaining to big films are never disclosed to third parties. Also, the remuneration of the hero and the lead cast constitute to the majority of the making cost. Only Prabhas’s and Rajamouli’s films will fall have the Rs 100 crore+ making cost. All the other big-budget films will have to depend on the government’s mercy to get this flexibility now.
The government stood firm on its stance on benefit shows. There will be no special shows in AP henceforth. The age-old celebratory tradition comes to an end now.
As for the 5th show, the government has permitted the same. But again, there is a catch. Theatres can screen 5 shows per day, but only 4 shows should be that of big films and the other should be allocated for low budget films (budget less than Rs 20 crores). As it appears, this clause might be to target the films that are in the bad books of the government.
Lastly, there is the 25% reservation regulation. Meaning, 25% of the tickets should be sold at non-premium prices in order to make them economically feasible to the poor. This appears to be another beartrap set by the government to target certain films.
All in all, the government hasn’t entirely solved the problem but it has eliminated the unreasonable pricing issue in B and C centres. There are enough loopholes in the G.O to oppress certain films. So, all films will now have to try to be in the good books of the government to enjoy unofficial relaxations. A lot will depend on what happens ‘behind the sheets’ where the G.O might not be enforced in a full-fledged manner.