The Andhra Pradesh government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy pushed the Tollywood film industry into a big shock with its proposal to regulate ticket prices. Since then there has been a confrontation between the government and the Tollywood film industry on the movie ticket prices row.
Megastar Chiranjeevi took the initiative and led a delegation to meet the Chief Minister. However, the meeting partially worked as big-ticket films were given a few benefits. The government is going forward with its decision and recently issued some guidelines for the online sale of tickets.
The theatre owners have a few doubts about how the new mechanism works and how the money earned through movie tickets will be given to the owners. Making the issue complicated there is no word from the state government on how the taxes will be calculated and what percentage of collections will the theatre owners get.
To clear the doubts and challenge the new mechanism, a petition was filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court by ticketing applications firm Big Tree Entertainment Private. Limited. The High Court heard the petition the other day and served notice to the Principal Secretary (Home), Law Secretary, and APTS to file their counters and the next hearing is slated for the 27th of this month.
During the hearing, the petitioner requested the High Court to issue a stay order and the Court said no. The bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court comprising Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice DVSS Somayajulu which heard the petition told the petitioner that, after hearing the arguments of the other party, it will decide what to do next.
It has to be mentioned here that, recently, the Andhra Pradesh government directed the exhibitors to sign a Memorandum of understanding with the AP Film Development Corporation (APFDC) for the online ticket sales and those who fail to do so will have to lose the theatre licenses.
But a few theatre owners reportedly said no to this saying that unless they get clarity on the amount they get after the ticket sales, they will not sign any MOU. Looks like they are serious on this matter.