Akshay Kumar has become one of the first Bollywood stars to address the high cost of movie outings in India currently. Speaking recently at the Hindustan Times Leadrship Summit, the actor admitted that the film industry needs to 'dismantle' the existing system and 'start all over again' if it wants to win the audience back. He emphasised on the need to lower the cost of movie outings and said he would want to lower his fees for that as well.
Akshay participated in a session on cinema with fellow actor Ram Charan on the final day of HTLS 2022 on Saturday. While addressing why Hindi films have not been working at the box office in the last one year or so, Akshay talked about what the industry is doing wrong.
He said, "What is happening, as per me, is that things have changed. Audience wants something different. This is what we should think that we should sit down and try to give them that. It is our fault not the audience fault that they are not coming. We have to give them what they want. That is what we have to rethink. We have to dismantle what we have made and start all over again. Think what kind of cinema they would want to see. I want to start completely differently. And that is what I have started doing also. What has happened during the pandemic is that their choices have changed rapidly."
He then addressed what the industry can do to bring down the cost of the movie outing. "There are so many other things that need to be done and not just by the actors but the producers and theatres as well. I'll tell you I want to bring down my prices by 30-40%. Theatres need to understand that it's recession time also. The audience has a limited amount of money to spend on entertainment. You cannot be spending so much on it. Everything has to change," he said, adding, ""And it's not just the theatres. We have to work on the cost of me, the cost of making the film. Everything needs to be addressed."
The Indian film industry has experimented with lowered ticket prices in various phases this year, largely quite successfully. In September, most theatres across India lowered all ticket prices to flat ₹75. This saw a whopping 1000% jump in footfalls on the day, with many shows across India sold out. Many films again reduced ticket prices during the Navratri less than a week later. Trade pundits said that the increase in people at the theatres due to lowered ticket prices shows that this may be a good way to go for the exhibitors in order to bring back audiences to the theatre.