The second half of the year which is loaded with festivals and holiday period can pump up the entertainment business.
If not for coronavirus, this Eid audience would have been enjoying another Salman Khan blockbuster - Radhe. However, the film's release is currently on hold.
It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Eid without a Salman Khan film is incomplete. At least that has been the case for around a decade. Since 2010, Salman's movies have minted money at the box office.
His 2010 release Dabangg collected Rs 14.50 crore on the first day and the momentum gained in the following years. Bodyguard in 2011 made Rs 21.60 crore, 2012’s Ek Tha Tiger earned Rs 32.93 crore, Sultan minted Rs 35.54 crore and his last offering Bharat opened at Rs 42.30 crore.
But there were times when Khan’s magic at the box office dwindled. But it was Eid holiday that saved his ventures. Films like Race 3 or Tubelight were unable to impress audience yet the movies opened on a strong note with first day collection to the tune of Rs 29 crore and Rs 21 crore respectively.
Experts say that Salman Khan movies’ association with Eid has been a very efficacious formula.
While Eid is a lost opportunity in 2020, film industry is still hopeful about the festive releases in the second half of the year.
Considering the current scenario, we are expecting the business to come back by mid-June or early July, said Tinku Singh, Group President and Chief Strategy Officer, SRS group which operates SRS Cinemas, a multiplex chain in north India.
Another multiplex operator PVR expects cinemas to open by mid-July. In this case, the second half of the year which is loaded with festivals and holiday period can pump up the entertainment business.
Film trade analysts are of the opinion that festive periods boost revenues by around Rs 20-30 crore.
“The festive season has always been augmenting and strengthening the habit of going to cinemas. And it is almost a norm to enjoy a movie during the festivals,” said Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure.
He added that push back of movies due to lockdown has ensured that there will be good quality of content before, during and after Diwali.
On the content side, there are big-ticket films that are ready for release like Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi, Ranveer Singh-starrer 83, Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan’s Coolie No.1.
Along with Diwali which according to Tandon is likely to bring the required spur in the industry as footfalls during Diwali is always high, the last few days of December and the start of January is also lucrative.
In fact, experts say that the last ten days of December leading up to the first week of January is probably the most exciting period for cinema in any part of the country.
Even on the advertising front, during Christmas and New Year holidays ad inventory utilisation goes up by 100-120 percent compared to average utilisation during normal weeks.