- Kabali tickets are being sold for as high as Rs 800
- Websites crashed as Rajini fans went into overdrive
- Multiplex theatres are selling tickets at higher prices
The frenzy in the air is palpable as superstar Rajinikanth's much-awaited film Kabali is finally set to hit screens in around 7000 screens across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Hundreds of movie-watchers stormed ticket booking counters across the city as soon as gates opened for the advance booking. In less than hour, all tickets -- for both Telugu and Tamil -- were sold out for the entire weekend. Several websites crashed as Rajini fans went into overdrive trying to book tickets online.
As always, black marketeers have stepped in, and are capitalising on the high demand for tickets. Kabali tickets are being sold for as high as Rs 800 in some parts of the city. Unlike Baahubali, where single screen theatres were major hubs for black marketing, several multiplex theatres are allegedly selling tickets at higher prices to cash in on the frenzy.
Says K Pranay, a city-based B.tech student, "I went to Cinepolis Mall in Kukatpally to book tickets for Kabali. To my astonishment, I was asked to shell out `600 for the early morning show. While the price remains `150 for other shows, if you want to watch film on the first day, you have to shell out exorbitant amounts of money."
The situation is similar across all major multiplexes, including Prasads Multiplex and Forum Sujana Mall in Kukatpally.
With the black marketing flourishing in the city, especially during big releases, some of these touts have also set up their own agencies. One of them is Shiva, who has his own company called 'Shiva Tickets', where he sells tickets in black at Inox, GVK One Mall and other venues.
Apart selling the tickets at a higher rate, he also takes a 'commission' for bringing the tickets in the first place.
"For a low-budget film like Eedo Rakam Aado Rakam, this guy charged Rs 300 for one single ticket. For Kabali the price has shot up to Rs 600. It's crazy but what's even more unbelievable, is the fact that people are willing to pay that kind of money to watch a film," shares Anurag Rao, a cine buff.
While Multiplex representatives denied that tickets are being sold at higher rates at the counters, a source under the condition of anonymity, admitted that black marketing is prevalent even in multiplexes. "When demand is high and supply is low, it's only natural that prices will go up. One of the reasons for limiting online booking is to sell tickets at higher prices at the venue. Having said that, these 'black tickets' are only sold for the first day, because after that people aren't willing to buy tickets at higher rates," the source said.