Hyderabad: Most regular movie-goers are becoming conspicuous by their absence at theatres on the day of release. It is a strange downslide from the pre-Covid days when there would be a scramble at the ticket counters. In the changed scenario, now the regulars are awaiting a film’s first-day review before deciding to watch the screening in a theatre or on OTT platform.
On a closer scrutiny it has been found that many people are not going to theatres given the high cost of tickets. Even those who watch films of their favourite stars multiple times are thinking twice about going to theatres.
Unlike earlier times when watching movies in theatres was the only entertainment for them, now people have multitude of options like live IPL action and web series on OTT.
Madhu Venaih, who works in Sudershan 35 mm theatre at RTC crossroads, said “before the lockdown, audiences would be more for regular shows even during weekdays. We would have students, people bunking the office, couples, families and even job seekers. Now hardly anyone comes.”
A film producer, seeking anonymity, said “the industry is struggling to sustain. There has to be some uniformity when it comes to ticket pricing. Those in the good books of the government are given relaxation to hike prices, whereas pricing of movies of those who have no clout remains the same.”
Balgovind Raj Tadla said “the ticket pricing factor has dealt a major blow. We are in a region where comparatively more movies are released because of the die-hard fans. The top players of the industry should collaborate and come together.”
Film analyst Akella Rajkumar pointed out “after the three waves of Covid-19, families have stopped watching movies in theatres. OTT subscriptions are so less. It makes economic sense to go for a yearly subscription and watch a film on OTT in the cozy comforts of home than take the family to a theatre and shell down huge amounts. Moreover, you are saved from parking, traffic and pollution woes.”