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Film tickets cheapest in India: survey

By Prasun Sonwalkar, IANS

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Guess where in the world cinema tickets are the costliest - Japan. And where are they the cheapest? India.

A global survey of the largest film markets showed that Japan was the most expensive country for seeing a film, with an average ticket price of $10.80 (5.92 pounds), followed by Switzerland and the Nordic nations.

Britain was 10th dearest, with an average price of $7.20.

The cheapest market remains India, where tickets cost just 20 cents.

The study by Screen Digest, a media research company, shows that average ticket prices rose in 40 of the 45 countries surveyed.

The global average price in 2003 was $5.20, up 4.8 percent in local currency terms. A major reason for the price rise was the spread of multiplexes, some of which have up to 30 screens that can operate in unison.

Alan McNair, the deputy chief executive of Vue Cinema, said: "Around the world, multiplex prices are higher than the independent cinemas they're replacing.

"The offering is better and the tickets are priced accordingly, and that applies outside Britain and all over the world; you get digital sound, air-conditioning, high-quality projection and better seating."

Multiplex ticket prices tend to be higher than those of so-called "art house" cinemas, the researchers note. Prices in the US, the world's biggest film-going market - which has suffered 30 percent inflation since 1997 - have increased every year for the past decade.

Turkey and Mexico had the highest price rises, up about 30 percent last year, while ticket costs in Argentina fell by two thirds in the past seven years.

However, Screen Digest found that ticket price inflation was easing in all five large European markets, despite the existence of many multiplexes.

Screen Digest reports that Germany had one of the highest rates of inflation in 2002, but last year its weak economy and lacklustre box-office attendance sent prices down by 2.6 percent.


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