The National Cinema Day, which was celebrated on September 23, was a grand success as expected. The tickets were sold for Rs. 75 and audiences lapped it up, astonishing the trade and industry. The Multiplex Association of India (MAI), in its official statement, claimed that more than 6.5 million viewers thronged cinema halls on National Cinema Day. Raj Bansal, the owner of Entertainment Paradise in Jaipur, however on Sunday, September 25 objected to this claim. He tweeted, "It is reported in media that 6.5 million audience saw films across country on #NationalCinemaDay is absolutely wrong & misleading" (sic).
EXCLUSIVE: Raj Bansal raises OBJECTION to Multiplex Association of India’s claim that 6.5 million moviegoers saw films on National Cinema Day: “The actual number CANNOT be more than 3 million people”
Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke to Raj Bansal to understand why he posted this tweet, which has garnered a lot of attention. He explained his stand by making some calculations, though he made it clear that the figures he quoted are not exact but are approximate and gives a fair idea about his argument.
He said, “The actual number cannot be more than 3 million people. I will explain why. Roughly, 7 lakhs tickets were sold for Brahmastra by the three leading multiplex chains - PVR, Inox and Cinepolis. I guess around 4 lakhs tickets were sold for small films like Chup, Dhokha Round D Corner etc. That amounts to around 11.50 lakhs. If we assume that 6 lakh people must have seen the regional films, the total comes to 18.50 lakhs. Let’s round it to 20 lakhs, that is, 2 million.”
Raj Bansal continued, “Now let's count keeping all theatres in mind and not just the three multiplexes. As per the official figures, Brahmastra collected Rs. 9 crores nett from all the cinemas on Friday. The ticket price was Rs. 75 and excluding 12% GST, the amount comes to Rs. 66 per ticket. If you divide 9 crores by Rs. 66, the answer you will get is the total number of people who saw Brahmastra - 13.63 lakhs. If we assume a similar number of people saw the rest of the films, the figure won't go beyond 28 lakhs. This was my issue. They are misleading that 6.5 million or 65 lakhs people saw films on National Cinema Day. It’s impossible.”
Raj Bansal made it clear that he is happy to see house full shows and how lakhs of people turned up to the theatres on September 23, but he argued that there was no reason to give inaccurate information. He stated, “The trade should take a strong objection to this claim. We should not mislead. If 6.5 million people would have indeed come on National Cinema Day, the collections of all films would have gone beyond Rs. 40 crores.”
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