The State Film Bureau recently commenced an investigation into bad-faith manipulation of box offices and massive ticket refunds for the romance “Us and Them.” The SFB came to a preliminary conclusion that the pattern of ticket refunds is “abnormal.”It is difficult to curb the current chaos in the theater industry due to the different players involved in this “game of thrones” at various times. From “stealing box office receipts” (counting some of the earnings of one film as earnings of another) by cinemas to improve the performance of their own films, to “buying up box office receipts”conducted jointly by production companies and cinemas to inflate stock prices, to “box office fraud” conducted jointly by film distributors and ticketing platforms to play the theaters, ultimately all of these shady practices are aimed at the same goal: short-term benefits from speculation. Under the U.S. Paramount decree, although a film can be produced and distributed by the same company, giant studios are not allowed to show their films in their own theatres – studios and theaters must be separately owned. When the studio and the theater are no longer “family”, the cost of buying up box office receipts increases and it is pointless to increase the screenings of films through box office fraud; thereby preventing unhealthy competition among studios.
(Source: Anti-Trust Practice Review)
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