Multiplexes killing Bollywood, say filmmakers (Lead)November 24th, 2009 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, Nov 24 (IANS) Two prominent Bollywood filmmakers — Manmohan Shetty and Bobby Bedi — have spoken against multiplexes and the high price of tickets, saying these two factors could destroy the industry.
“The main culprit to bring down Bollywood are multiplexes,” said Shetty, who started the trend of multiplex cinema chains.
“The tickets are priced so high that people who used to watch the movies by paying Rs.30 to Rs.40 are not coming to cinema halls anymore,” Shetty said at a conference, “India - The Big Picture”, organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
“With high budgets and high priced tickets at multiplexes, film business has become difficult,” he added.
Shetty, who produced movies like “GangaaJal”, also said the fees charged by stars have made movie production a tricky business.
“Even though film producers spend Rs.10-15 crore on promotion of films, it is difficult to recover the amount,” he said, adding that a star like Akshay Kumar, who earlier used to charge Rs.1 crore now commands Rs.25 crore.
Film producer Bobby Bedi, in his address at the same conference that was organised on the occasion of the 40th edition of the International Film Festival of India, equated high priced tickets to the Frankenstein monster that would soon “eat us all up”.
“By pricing the tickets high, the industry has created a monster which will eat us all up like Frankenstein,” said Bedi, whose Kaleidoscope Entertainment has produced blockbusters like “Saathiya”, “Maqbool” and “Bandit Queen”.
“The need today is for us to lower the ticket prices and the cost of production,” he added.
“We shout from the rooftop about making 1,000 films in India every year. But only 84 films out of the 400 films are hits. What happens to the rest of the films and the money invested in them,” he asked.
Bedi also blamed the entry of corporate sector into film business for the unprecedented upswing in production costs and skyrocketing fees of stars.
“For ‘Mangal Pandey’, Aamir Khan was paid a princely sum of Rs.4 crore. In five years, the price could have a zero added to it,” he said.
“Corporates came into the film industry with pots of money. Now that they have made losses, they are exiting the market. Today, corporates are bleeding from the wounds they themselves inflicted.”
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