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New GO Creates Controversy
The article below reflects the opinion of the writer. It does not represent the opinion of anyone associated with CineGoer.com.
Now you have to pay Rs. 70/- if you want to watch Chiru's film 'Jai Chiranjeeva', releasing on December 21. Not that you are purchasing the ticket in black, but it is the government itself who is charging you and everybody, who wants to buy ticket for the higher class. A GO No. 269 is already released, a couple of days ago, to this effect. Is the chief minister Dr. YS Rajasekhar Reddy a fan of Chiranjeevi? Jesus knows. This is Christmas presentation from YSR to Chiranjeevi. But people talk of an unseen force behind all this. Could he be Dasari, who is said to have taken this film for distribution. Perhaps they are all thinking that this is a positive step taken in the interest of film industry. It is not.
Why did the government go that haste is the question. And nobody expected that YSR who gave Entertainment Tax concessions to the film industry, would now punish the audience. If you want to see Chiranjeevi's film on the first day or rather on any day within the first two weeks, the rate is the same. If you are a middle class man and cannot afford to watch this film with family, please wait for a couple of weeks. Your family too wants to see this film, as Chiranjeevi is a family artiste. By that time you will also come to know how good or bad is the film. The GO stipulates that producers can opt for enhancement of entry charge upto 75 percent on the present ticket. But after two weeks the ticket cost of these higher classes drops to its original level. Don't mistake that this provision is made only to Chiranjeevi's film. It is for all. Choice is yours. If the producers wish to raise the ticket rate for this first two week period they can very well do so. This choice is theirs.
Six months ago the scene was different. Responding to many pleas the industry made, the chief minister gave concessions in tax for big and small films. The industry too responded positively and felicitated him for the gesture he showed towards the industry, including the fixing of celing for maximum ticket as Rs. 40/-. Now the story is different. You can sell it at 70 rupees for two weeks, after release. True, Chiranjeevi asked the chief minister in that felicitation function to give freedom to raise the ticket value for the first two weeks of a film's release. The CM nodded his head at that time. Now he issues a GO giving that freedom to increase upto 75 percent. The funniest part is that the GO is timed with the release of 'Jai Chiranjeeva'. Obviously some drama must have taken place behind curtains.
Producer Aswini Dutt is also said to be the force behind to extract the boon from the Chief minister. He must have spent a lot of money for the production of 'Jai Chiranjeeva'. And the amount must be beyond the capacity of the Telugu market. There was a system, sometime back, to double the rate of entrance ticket, if the producers spent a fortune on the film and the state cannot give back that much of money. The raise in the ticket would compensate. Some Hollywood films in the past applied for permission to raise the ticket's cost, as the production cost was very high and got it.
There is a talk in the industry that this provision was originally made only to help the Chiranjeevi film. But doubting that this might create backlash, the government added that extra line – 'all the films'. But who would dare enhance the rate to that extant, except films featuring Chiranjeevi. Already the films are flopping. The so-called super heroes are sulking. The audience cursing. It is a vicious chain of events. We predict that this GO would be withdrawn the moment 'Jai Chiranjeeva' completes its run. The industry is already facing multiple problems and expecting the audience to pay almost double the price of a ticket is a far fetched hope. Chiranjeevi's film is released in a large number of theatres to mop up the revenue, exploiting the initial curiosity of the audience about the film. This will be there at least for a week. Despite this official increase in the ticket rate, there will be unofficial black marketing. Films with other superstars are already faring badly at the market. All said and done, it is a bad decision the CM took obviously to please the 'Mega' and 'Super' stars and their production units and producers working with them. - Koundinya