Should Indie Film Tickets Be Cheaper Than Mainstream Films?
“Why do all movies cost the same to see?”, this statement made a buzz when Chad Hartigan, director of “Morris from America”, posted this puzzling question on Twitter. He was inquisitive if the prices of movie tickets would affect its sales. And this goes to the thinking that lowering ticket prices for certain Indie films would encourage moviegoers to see a thought-provoking Sundance film rather than the latest 4D Transformers film.
However, by making the ticket prices of certain Indies too low, can also pose an intriguing question on its quality. It is the same when putting a price on an art work, the cheaper it is, the lesser its value. As we all know, this has been the existing idea with movie goers, indies are” less valuable” in terms of quality than high-budget studio films. And they only based it on the idea that Indies are low-budgeted films and not on how sensible the plot was. So, what more damage can it do to these films’ reputation when the ticket prices go really low? I would bet that they would be taken as really invaluable films that don’t deserve theater screening.
And how about on the movie theater’s side? Putting ticket rates too low for Indies would also cause some inevitable struggles for them to make it in theaters. Movie theaters cannot just bear the burden of losing money due to the less expensive prices for these low-budget films. This is one reason why Indies are typically premiered on streaming media and VODs such as Netflix and entirely skips the theaters, and this contributes in giving these films devaluing reputation.
If you all can notice, racism on ticket prices only exists in the film industry. Would you pay more on a less popular band with a massive production budget than Coldplay? I bet you won’t, even if Coldplay would just have a simple backyard performance, you would gladly spend hundreds just to see them. In this instance, people will be willing to spend more on performance quality rather than on the special effects. And this is what Indie films are aiming for, get a price rate that they deserve based on how their sensible story was perfectly executed by the artists.
As Hartigan pointed it out, make all films viable for cinemas. Instead of associating Indie films as “less valuable” pieces of artwork with the “watch at home” set-up, give it a shot to hit the movie theaters for movie goers to appreciate these thought-provoking and captivating low-budget films.
Making Indie film ticket prices competitive, at par with high-budget studio films will help it to uplift its reputation, making it more appealing for people to see. Indie films project how real people deal with life and it is definitely unquestionable that these types of films deserve a better reputation.
With a well-thought story and high-quality performance from Indie artists, these films should be given a chance to hit the mainstream of the film industry and not be treated as sub standard compared to high-budget studio films.
Subscribe to VersusMedia Magazine to get access to timely annotations, critical essays, and features by film professionals and critics from around the world.