Rising Cinema Ticket Costs

Satyam Cinemas, the city’s only multiplex in the modern sense of the word has once again raised the ticket prices today, anywhere between 10 to 20 rupees per ticket depending on the cost. A ticket costs anywhere between Rs75 to Rs 100 for an English or Hindi movie and Rs 50 to Rs 80 for a Tamil movie, yes the theatre has a system of price discrimination based on the language.

There was a time when the cinema going crowd at Satyam would be students, when the ticket prices were lower, a maximum of Rs 50, which would fit the shoe string allowances of students. With the emergence of IT boom and BPO’s in Chennai, and rising incomes, the ticket cost has also increased. Today the demographic of the population at Satyam has changed completely; working professionals are the dominant group, dislodging the student population. Satyam is clearly abusing its monopoly power, the rising prices at Satyam are a classic case of a monopolist maximising revenue and profiteering, by exploiting the higher purchasing power, especially of the English movie watching, audience.

With INOX and PVR cinemas also planning to open multiplexes in Chennai, the ticket prices are set to increase even further. In an oligopolistic market with only three players, it wouldn’t be hard for them to collude and maintain the ticket prices at artificially high levels. Thankfully, for tamil movie lovers, there is a way out in the form of smaller, old fashioned theatres, where the ticket prices are much lower. The maximum ticket at these theatres costs only Rs 50, which is lower than the minimum ticket at Satyam (discounting the Rs 10 ticket).

Another fall out of the rising ticket prices is the increased piracy, where a DVD consisting of 4 movies is priced at Rs 70, which is the best option for English movie lovers, if they are willing to compromise on the theatre going experience. It is cheaper, and the best part is that one gets to watch movies much before they are actually released in theatres.

11 Comments so far

  1. Vishnu (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 11:15 am

    Somehow I agree with you.Some theaters that doesn’t match with class and facilites provided by the stayam also charging the same way as satyam does. This doesn’t mean I am with Satyam. They should have to bring some regulatroy norms.


  2. vatsan (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 11:18 am

    @ vishnu,

    Sangam, Abirami, Devi, Udayam charge 70 rupees max for a tamil movie, that is only in the first week, when they need to make their money, after that progressively the prices reduces. after 3 or 4 weeks the maximum ticket costs at these theatres is 40 rupees.

  3. vatsan (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 11:21 am

    @ vishnu, this isnt including the local tamil theatres, like Thayagaraja Kamala etc, where its even cheaper,

    the problem isnt for tamil movie watchers but english movie goers, who dont have any choice

  4. Mukunth (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

    You are right, in the sense, that Satyam keeps increasing the ticket prices at regular “intervals” but frankly none of the theaters mentioned have the required facilities to charge them these rates. Look at the parking (yeah, we pay for that too!) / toilet facilities at Satyam and compare with others…As long as there are buyers, there will be sellers…

  5. Kaps (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

    Isn’t Abirami considered a Multiplex. They don’t need to collude to succeed. I guess the demand for such high quality theatres far outweighs the supply and hence the skyrocketing ticket prices.

  6. vatsan (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    nope, its got 5 screens, but the theatre doesnt meet the modern quality standards to be called a multiplex. i agree with you on the market forces leading to increasing prices

    i differ on parking at satyam, parking my bullet has been easier sangam or abirami, at satyam its cramped and taking my bike out is a headache.
    yes they do offer facilities, but without an upgrade why raise prices by Rs 20?

  7. Mehak (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

    I agree they are enjoying n cashing in on their monopoly…
    n once PVR/Inox enter the market here in Chennai….dude 150 for a weekend ticket ….its painful…
    but as of now 80-90 bucks is considerably cheap as compared to the BIG BRANDED multiplexes.

  8. Insidemind (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 7:54 pm

    I partially agree with your post.

    The IT/BPO boom is driving up the prices in not only Theatres , but in every other area as well!
    Not everyone earns in X x 10,000 !

    But I doubt if you could call it Abuse of Monopoly…afterall Sathyam operates for profit..So when they have customers happy to throw cash, It’d be silly if they did’nt cash-in .

  9. Sankar (unregistered) on July 7th, 2006 @ 11:03 pm

    forget the tickets… the snacks etc are also too expensive…

    atleast they have their theatres clean and neat… and the online booking option is something that is scoring for them… most ppl (including me) prefer booking online to avoid the rush…

  10. Bina (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

    Believe me, this is not a parochial problem. In the UK we have seen the same ticket price rises with no commensurate increase in the quality of the cinema. Movies in Central London now cost so much that only young professionals can watch them. There are multiplexes galore but I am convinced that there is implicit or explicit price collusion. It makes me laugh when cinemas complain that the box office numbers are falling. If they just dropped the price by sa 20% they’d get people back from DVD (usually pirate) to the cinema. Which is good for everyone because you just can’t beat seeing something on the big screen.

  11. www.HowMuchAtYourPlace.com (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 8:15 pm

    Hi! Found this entry while searching on Google, very interesting how Chinema Ticket Prices can vary that much. Your Price Rs100=1.69€ and in e.g. Dublin the it’s 9.20€. That’s a Hi! Found this entry while searching on Google, very interesting how Chinema Ticket Prices can vary that much. Your Price Rs100=1.69€ and in e.g. Dublin the it’s 9.20€. That’s a

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