Telugu film has come of age in terms of collections. Theatre managements have been looting audiences by making the ticket prices uniform irrespective of the classes and recording huge collections.
And when a big ticket film is released, there is absolutely no control over ticket prices. As a result, even the film turns out to be an utter flop, collections cross over Rs 50 crore mark.
But who is benefiting out of it? Has the producer been able to make any money? In the past, films of even top heroes used to be completed within the budget of Rs 40 crore and collections would have been around Rs 50 crore.
But now, the collections have gone up to Rs 70-80 crore, but the production cost, too, has gone up equally. The biggest beneficiaries of these record collections are heroes and directors, who knock away lion’s share of the profits. And the producers continue to face the same tension with less or nil profits; sometimes big losses.
According to the latest talk, the forthcoming film of Mahesh Babu under the direction of Murugadoss is going to cross Rs 100 crore budget. And 40 per cent of this budget goes towards remuneration of Mahesh and Murugadoss, who knock away Rs 20 crore each.
Similarly, another forthcoming film of Ramcharan and Sukumar combination is also crossing Rs 70 crore of production cost. Reason is that the remuneration for casting itself is pegged at Rs 30 crore.
According to sources, Ramcharan himself is charging a remuneration of Rs 15 crore, while Sukumar’s remuneration is around 8 crore. Besides, artistes like Rao Ramesh, Jagapathi Babu and 30-years Prithvi also charge heavily in their own range.
While Rao Ramesh charges Rs two lakh plus service tax per day, Jagapathi Babu is charging equally. So is the case with Prithivi whose remuneration is not less than Rs 1.5 lakh a day.
Apart from casting, technicians, too, cost a bomb. Devi Sri Prasad himself charges remuneration of Rs 3 crore. So, the total payments towards remuneration alone is around Rs 35 crore.
Taking into account the production and publicity costs, the budget goes up to Rs 65-70 crore. Unless the collections cross Rs 80 crore, buyers would not be happy. So, whom are theatre managements and directors patronising by looting audiences?