Anujeet MajumdarJun 17, 2013 21:01:15 IST
There is some good news for the Mumbai movie goer. The Bombay High Court was seen calling Internet-based movie ticketing companies to question on Thursday for charging extra convenience fees despite an earlier motion that prevented them from doing so.
According to a new report, a divisional bench, which heard a public interest litigation on the additional charges being levied, asked online ticketing companies to respond to the complaint. Following up to an April ruling that saw the government stating that online ticketing companies could not charge convenience fees, this latest development could be a big hit on the margins of online ticketing sites.
With companies like BookMyShow, Big Cinema (Reliance Mediaworks), Fame India Ltd, INOX, Fun Multiplex, Sterling, Globus Cinema, New Excelsior, 24 Karat Multiplex, HDIL Broadway, Abhiruchi City Pride and E-Square being affected, the ruling is a very big deal, for both the companies and movie-goers.
The Bombay High Court has pulled up online ticketing companies over convenience fees that are charged
Rationalised this ruling, it was earlier seen that the Government of Maharashtra had given the go-ahead for cinema theatres to double the service tax being charged for A/C and non-A/C halls, if the theatres would begin using computerised ticketing and digital screens. The Government, however, made it clear that the theatres should not charge viewers with any additional cost beyond this for the online computerised sale.
Many operators like PVR Cinemas, BookMyShow and others have since been seen implementing this. Other states in the country are also expected to repeat this move and install a similar resolution.
For the movie-goer, a movie at a multiplex has become an expensive outing. According to NextBigWhat, movie-goers may have to part with an average of Rs 200 for a movie during the week in cities like Bangalore, with the price becoming higher as the day wears on. The price of tickets shoots up on the weekends, with prices touching around Rs 436 in Bangalore. The same movie will demand a price of RS 380 in a city like Mumbai.
According to the report, multiplexes are aware of how rising costs may deter movie-goers from coming to cinema halls to watch movies. In order to keep them interested, multiplexes have begun offering discounts for the first show of the day as well as movie shows that come within a particular time slot.
Other multiplexes have gone so far as to discount the tickets of all shows seen for an entire day in the week. However, this new development may prove to be the last straw for many online ticketing service providers. The reaction of the online service providers now remains to be seen. Whether online ticketing services in other parts of the country will also follow suit also remains to be seen.
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