If the India-Pakistan semi-final on Wednesday was a super hit at the multiplexes, Saturday’s World Cup final against Sri Lanka looks set to be an even bigger blockbuster.
At the Cinemax chain of multiplexes, ticket prices have shot up 66% from Rs150 for the semi-final to Rs250 for the final. A seat in the premium Red Lounge, where food and wine will also be served, will cost Rs1,500 each. Earlier the same cost Rs900.
“We have already booked most of the 35 screens across the country where we will screen the final match. We are maintaining the required balance between the movies, which are our regular fare, and the India-Sri Lanka World Cup final,” said Sunil Punjabi, CEO, Cinemax.
Punjabi added that their properties would continue to have the carnival environment with open counters for starters, snacks and beverages, including beer and a music station with a DJ.
PVR Cinemas has cancelled two shows each of the Friday releases, Game and Faltu.
“The match will be on for about nine hours,” said Gautam Dutta, CEO of the multiplex chain that boasts of a high-definition broadcast directly from ESPN, which has the exclusive rights to the biggest cricket tournament.
The ticket prices range from Rs500 for the regular seats to Rs2,000 for gold class, where food and beverages will be served. Cheerleaders will also be present in the auditoriums, but alcohol will not be allowed inside. “As per the law, alcohol will be allowed only in the lounge areas,” said Dutta. Cricket fans do not seem to get tired of sitting in the auditoriums for matches, that are of a longer duration than films.
“The people are enjoying the experience and there’s no doubt that the final will be as huge a draw as the semi-final,” said Amod Mehra, a trade analyst. “The hike won’t deter the people from thronging the multiplexes.”