Single-screens will struggle to stay afloat if this period of shut down extends beyond a month or two, according to an expert
India's theatre owners have started counting their losses, with several state governments shutting down theatres as a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus outbreak.
What started with Kerala, which so far has reported 22 positive cases, has now been implemented in places including Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Nellore, Odisha, Karnataka, Bihar, Punjab, Telangana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra — where cinema halls have shut shop for sometime to contain the spread of corona.
Talking to Moneycontrol, Shailesh Kapoor, CEO, Ormax Media, said, “Currently, as many as 5,000 screens have been impacted due to the outbreak and this number will only go up this week.”
With large number of screens not operating due to the virus fears escalating in India, Kapoor estimates huge losses on a weekly basis.
“The average domestic box office revenue per day in India (across languages) is Rs 200 crore. A large number of states have shut theatres and even where they are open, no new films are releasing, the weekly loss will be to the tune of Rs 150 crore. However, a sizeable part of this will be recovered later in the year, when the delayed films are released,” he said.
He also said while the impact is on both single-screens and multiplexes, “multiplex chains are bigger companies, so they can navigate through this phase, but some of the smaller single screens will struggle to stay afloat if this period extends beyond a month or two.”
In March last year, Bollywood alone had pocketed around Rs 445 crore from as many as 14 films out of which the standouts were Akshay Kumar’s Kesari which had minted Rs 151 crore, Taapsee Pannu-starrer Badla which became one of the most profitable films of last year and rom-com Luka Chuppi which earned Rs 88 crore.
However, this year in March, so far only three films have released and all the offerings have been impacted due to shutting down of cinema halls because of coronavirus.
The two major films that released this month—Baaghi 3 has collected Rs 94.92 crore in nine days of its release while Angrezi Medium has amassed around Rs 10 crore in three days.
Plus, Red Chilli Entertainment's production Kaamyaab, which released on March 6, has contributed around Rs 7.45 crore at the box office, taking the March 2020 total to around Rs 112.4 crore.The scenario for Bollywood this March would have been different if COVID-19 had not hit the world. Major releases like Sooryavanshi have been delayed due the virus.
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