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The rising costs of movie tickets (and the “essentials” for enjoying a movie) have driven people like me to stay at home rather than going to theaters.

The average movie ticket costs about Rs 220. Popcorn costs about Rs 80, and a drink, about Rs 50. Thus, the average expense at a theater is about Rs 350. For a family of four, that’s approximately Rs 1,400 for two-and-a-half hours of entertainment. Include the Parking fees of Rs 100 for a car (or, 2 x two-wheelers, in my case) to make it Rs 1,500.

The way in which movie studios are reimbursed by local theaters has a big role in deciding prices. The studio may can ask for as much as 90% of the revenue from sales of movie tickets, in the first week of the release. This means that the high prices of the “First week” or “First-day-show” tickets aren’t actually benefiting the theaters tremendously. The theater gets more share of ticket sales in next weeks . So, when we go to watch a movie for second time (or first time, but in second week), theaters are getting more share, and giving lesser to the studio.

So, why are the studios charging so much? Some of the best films are made on fairly low budgets. But, we have examples where a fairly high budget film has been an epic fail. So, we may inference that the studio “makes-up” for it’s losses on high-budget films, by keeping prices at-par with the low-budget ones.

While actors (including “actresses” too) make a great deal of money, they aren’t the sole reasons for overpriced movie tickets. If you can spare some time to read the end credits of a film, one will see that many people are people employed by large productions: spot-boys, film assistants, animators, casting assistants, art or set designers. Most of these have their own unions responsible for setting up their wages.

I really want to see movies, and choose them as an entertainment option, but Hollywood (and Bollywood too) are getting greedier now. So many movies have different trailers now days. When you go see the movie it could be totally different from what the trailer shows, and the theater says “it’s not our fault you didn’t like it” — Thanks for telling that, morons. From now on, I’ll spend my hard-earned money on other entrainment options.

Some of their business ideas look so stupid. The price for shows before 5 p.m. during Mon-Thu are some what in affordable range. But, do they ever stopped to think that maybe the people who would need to take advantage of this would be “working” during that time? Further, they keep “buying” the very-few-left single screen, affordable theaters, and they triple the ticket prices there, again leaving us with no choice. The “refreshment stall” at these multiplexes lists the items at 3-to-4-times their original market price — nice exploitation of  “captive audience”. I can buy a full lunch for myself for what a small popcorn and a drink would cost me at these plexes.

Even after paying such hefty amount for the ticket, be ready to sit through 20 minutes of ads, and get your movie watching interrupted by ringing cell phones, people talking loudly, and goons hooting and whistling in between.

If that wasn’t enough, we are now pushed on to these 3-D movies, and charged extra for them. The theater only shows the 3-D version of the movies. If you want to see it, pay for the 3-D. I have a better option here, I choose to give up on going to the movies. Overpaid movie stars, overpriced popcorn and soda-pop, overpriced tickets. I simply wait for the reviews of the movies (I mean, “real” reviews from my close friends, not “paid reviews” on various media). Then, I can get the movie on a DVD from my local library, just for those “really-worth-watching” films. And I can pop my own popcorn at home, buy a drink priced at Rs 20 (instead of Rs 50). I will not pay in to greed any more than I have to.

I’m proud to say that I either download the movies, or get them from the DVD library. I have saved some of my hard-earned money doing this. I hate doing it myself (unethical, and whatever). But, if you want me to come to the hall, lower the damn admission price.

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