With Marathi movies scoring over Hindi films from April to October in terms of box office collections, the district’s Entertainment Tax Department officials have a reason to cheer. The department has collected Rs 29.02 crore in taxes from April to October against the Rs 26.05 crore revenue earned in the corresponding period last year.
The reason for the increase is attributed to the opening of two new multiplexes in the city this year, which saw cinemagoers thronging movie halls to view Marathi films. “The addition of two new multiplexes and the existing 20 multiplexes in the city have generated more revenue in the last six months than the last year. Otherwise, in the last six months, we have observed that it was difficult for us to meet the target due to the failure of Bollywood films to attract movie buffs,” said Mohini Chavan, district entertainment duty officer.
Chavan pointed out that although Marathi films enjoy tax exemption, four films released during the last six months pulled in huge audiences. She added that if the Bollywood films had set the cash registers ringing, the department would have earned even more income. “Bollywood movies like Besharam, and Ye Jawani Hai Diwani had a poor run and generated hardly any revenue.
Moreover, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was tax-free,” said Chavan. The revenue collection for the ED department depends on the fate of films released every year. The ED officer added that on the other hand, Marathi films like Narbachi Wadi, Lagna Pahave Karun, Mangalashtak Once More and Duniyadari did well at the box office during these past six months.
According to Entertainment Duty Act, Bombay 1923, the ED department can charge 40 per cent tax of the price of the entry ticket of any multiplex or single screen cinema halls.