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Friday, Aug 30, 2002

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Film industry pitches for flexible ticket pricing

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THE film industry, which has been struggling due to high cost of production and poor collections, is now pitching for flexible pricing of tickets to help theatre-owners upgrade cinema halls in order to attract more audience.

The existing halls need to be renovated so that more viewers are attracted to cinema houses, says a paper presented at a recent CII-South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce seminar on Film Financing.

With the current trend, most hall owners do not earn enough to be able to upgrade the existing theatres. While suggesting that by adopting the system of temporarily increasing ticket rates for good movies (or decreasing the price in the case of a non-hit movies), the industry feels that the theatre-owners could improve their collections and plough the additional revenue for upgrading the theatres.

Pointing out that hit movies command higher prices in the black market thereby depriving the industry of its legitimate share, a flexible pricing system should be worked out to help the industry marshal the additional revenue towards upgradation costs.

The industry also has pleaded for stricter enforcement of piracy laws to plug the leakage of revenue to film-makers and exhibitors. According to an estimate, the industry is believed to be losing Rs 300 crore annually due to piracy.

A recent study conducted by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) on the level of piracy in 63 countries, has rated India as one of the countries to watch out for high levels of piracy.

As per its study, in 1999, the film industry lost about Rs 300 crore in piracy. Things had not improved much since then, it said.

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