What are Corporate Booking and Self Buying of movies tickets in Bollywood and meaning explained

What are Corporate Booking and Self Buying of movies tickets in Bollywood and meaning explained

In the contemporary era, it is imperative to address the issue of self-buying in the film industry, given the concern that what was anticipated to cease in 2023 may persist in 2024, check out the meaning of corporate booking in Bollywood

Throughout 2023, the prevailing buzzwords in the Indian Film Trade were “Organic” and “Corporate.” Malpractices involving self-buying and corporate bookings within the film fraternity sparked a heated debate on social media in the post-pandemic world.

What are Corporate Booking and Self Buying of movies tickets in Bollywood and meaning 

The genesis of this issue can be traced back to April 2022, when an action film secured 90,000 advance ticket sales at major national chains but opened with a meager sum of Rs 6.50 crore.

To put it in perspective, 90,000 tickets in PVR for a mass film typically signify an opening of Rs 15 crore. Upon closer examination of the macro-level booking patterns, a disconcerting trend becomes evident—houses displaying “Housefull” signs, yet devoid of an actual audience.

This silence inadvertently gave rise to new practices in the Indian Film Industry. Over time, it was revealed that a substantial amount of Rs 10 crore had been invested in purchasing tickets for the aforementioned action film, ostensibly relying on the allure of heroism.

Why Practice of Corporate Bookings Persisted

A pivotal event in 2023 reshaped the landscape of corporate and self-buying by disclosing the identities of stakeholders who not only purchased but also distributed tickets. Despite the purchase of lakhs of tickets, the impact on the film’s outcome was negligible.

Rumors circulated that tickets worth Rs 20 crore were procured in Hindi, yet the end result was a failure. In another release in June 2023, there were minor instances of self-buying to prolong the film’s run and maintain showings, with approximately Rs 7 crore spent on self-ticket purchases for perception purposes.

Moving to July 2023, the practice of corporate bookings persisted, with brands collaborating to distribute free tickets to customers for a major family entertainer.

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Meaning of Corporate Bookings

Producers invested in buying and distributing free tickets worth Rs 20 crore through brands during their run in India to reach a specific number. It is crucial to distinguish between corporate bookings and self-buying.

Some films exhibited self-buying, while others involved corporate blocks where brands purchased and distributed tickets for free to employees and customers.

While both practices are questionable due to the lack of genuine audience consumption, the scale at which corporate bookings are occurring now is unprecedented.

Fast forward to the last releases of 2023, and suspicions of self-buying were rife in the digital domain for both films. Observing trends on certain days and shows hinted at dubious elements.

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One film purchased tickets strategically to sustain its run, while another artificially inflated box office numbers by creating new shows. According to industry sources, a substantial sum of Rs 70 crore was collectively invested in the two releases, with one spending Rs 30 crore and the other escalating it to Rs 40 crore.

Many of the mentioned films had ostensibly “Housefull” shows on BookMyShow, yet the theaters were empty.

Purpose of These Tickets Purchase

In an era of social media, the industry and audience are aware of these practices. Films are created for audience consumption, and the theatrical verdict lies with them.

While self and corporate ticket buying may temporarily delay a drop in collections, it does not alter the overall picture. It is essential for the industry to accept results gracefully rather than attempting to manipulate outcomes in their favor.

Corporate buying during festive seasons is a longstanding practice, but it becomes problematic when empty auditoriums accompany seemingly “Housefull” shows.

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Why Are Corporate Bookings/Self-Buying on Rise

Multiple factors contribute to this phenomenon. Many films have pricing contracts with OTT players based on slabs; crossing a certain revenue threshold earns them a premium from digital platforms. Self-buying of tickets is treated as a marketing expense, with producers often receiving 50 percent of the amount spent back.

Additionally, actors may participate in ticket buying to maintain the perception of providing a minimum opening. In some cases, the overall ticket buying budget is shared between the actor and the producer at a predetermined ratio, easing the financial burden on the producer.

The article underscores the need to focus on producing quality films rather than resorting to malpractices that undermine the integrity of the box office and reporting fun.

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