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Special column : Telugu Cinema – A luxurious affair


We all love movies. That’s why we are here on this site reading movie news day in and day out. Especially NRIs whose only way to get in touch with their roots is through movies and food. We celebrate both with equal passion. Our only way to celebrate any Indian festival is by watching movie releasing that week in theaters.

But sometimes, I think, maybe we don’t love movies. Maybe, we are addicted to movies. Because, otherwise I cannot explain why I have to spend around $30 per person for watching a movie. $30 is more than the Blu-ray cost of the latest Hollywood action packed VFX filled blockbuster. No I am not putting down our movies. I love all our big ticket Telugu movies as much as I love the Interstellar movie. But I did not pay $30 to watch Interstellar on IMAX screen the first day. Let’s exclude movies like Robo, Bahubali, Rudramadevietc that are huge budgeted because of the VFX or sets. They are an attempt to make our movies richer not our makers or actors.

Counting our star heroes, there are approximately 8 to 9 big ticket movies in a year. Add to that the star directors famous in Overseas, we get around 10-12 big ticket movies. So if a movie addict has to watch all these movies in theaters, and the person being a movie addict, he/she has to watch the premiere and so the cost comes to around $300 just on the big ticket movies per year. And then there are small ticket movies every week. And if I am not wrong, our makers want us to watch all their movies in theaters and encourage them equally, right? So the cost comes to around $1000 per person in a year. If the person is married, it is $2000 and if married with kids, you know the math.

I can already read your minds going “If you don’t want to spend $1000 then don’t watch the movies.” But that is not what our makers want. If everyone, who is having a problem with watching the movies at such huge price, stops watching movies, we all know who is at loss. I do not think there are any fans in overseas who wants to pay huge money for tickets just to post huge collections for their favorite hero. Even if there are, they are very few and they are the ones about whom we read on the movie release days and laugh at.

I know all the math behind the huge ticket prices and how they relate to the highest bidding distributor etc. That would take up another whole article to explain in detail. But let me just say that it needs to be stopped or at least regulated on how movies are sold overseas. Makers’ ego cannot decide why we have to pay so much. I still remember the day I paid $18 for a premiere show and could not stop complaining. That day and then today when we are paying $30. It does not seem to be stopping. It has to. If not for anyone, at least for the students who earn peanuts but make up for the 90% of the audience for a premiere show. Just remember the story of the poor peasant who cut open his Golden egg laying hen. Overseas market is industry’s Golden Egg laying hen. Do not kill it.

Column by Rohit (Opinions expressed are his own)

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