Gone are the days when intervals during films would permit a hasty trip to the washroom or a quick getaway to the popcorn queue. But with buzz about movie breaks extending to almost 30 minutes in major multiplexes, trade experts feel that it’s the exhibitors who are going to benefit the most.
According to sources, the business of selling food and beverage inside movie halls has become quite lucrative for the multiplex exhibitors.
An insider says, “If a film ticket sells for Rs 100, 40 per cent of the amount goes in taxes. The rest of the 60 per cent is shared with the producers and distributors. But the money recovered from the food counters remain with the cinema hall. The rate at which these products are sold are already higher than the market price. It’s a completely win-win situation for the exhibitors.”
An exhibitor, on conditions of anonymity, says that the 30-minute interval applies only for those films that share the break-time with another.
He explains, “But that doesn’t happen during a solo release. At times when the breaks of two films clash, the audience doesn’t have enough time to visit the washroom as well as the food stalls.”
What about the non-stop ads that play during the incessantly long intervals? The exhibitor states, “Yes, the money earned from them goes straight to the exhibitors. But it hardly matters as not many people choose to remain in their seats during the interval.”