Russia intros new cinema reporting system
Designed to prevent misreporting of admissions figuresMOSCOW -- The Russian government has responded to complaints by local producers about theaters stealing from admission revenues with the introduction of a uniform ticket sales reporting system. However, it is unclear whether the system will help collect the extra $45 million a year, which producers claim theaters siphon off.
The State Duma lower chamber of Russian parliament has adopted a regulation introducing a uniform ticket and stricter reporting procedures for all film theaters in the country, which originally was supposed to come into force on Jan. 1, 2010, but then was postponed to May 1, 2010.
According to Dmitry Litvinov, head of the Planeta-Inform research group, the proportion of stolen revenues could reach five to six% of the total boxoffice, or up to $45 million, based on 2009's figure.
But industry players are skeptical about the new system. "Some film theaters do steal some part of admission revenues," Elena Shneerson, head of marketing at the film distributor West, told THR. "But the introduction of the uniform ticket won't prevent them from continuing to do so."
Theater chains, on the other hand, warn about a possible hike in ticket prices. "Every big theater chain like ours already has a good reporting system and we don't need anything else," Irina Tumanova, marketing director at the Kinomaks theater chain told THR. "So for us, the new system would only mean additional costs." She added that the additional costs incurred by the company are likely to be passed on to the customer, although it is difficult to estimate the size of the hike at this point.
According to Tumanova, only independent theaters could misreport admissions figures, while big theater chains wouldn't do it. As of early 2009, the most recent figure available, independent film theaters accounted for 32.3% of all screens in Russia.