COVID-19 Impact on Indian Film Industry – INR 2500 Crores Loss and Counting
As the world is facing unprecedented times with COVID-19 spreading like wildfire and countries under lockdown to manage the infection spread, the lives and various industries are impacted in an unparalleled way.
Indian Film Industry which ranks first in terms of annual output in the world is facing huge losses due to the lockdown resulting from coronavirus infection.
The entertainment industry in India is meeting new challenges due to massive loss. Halted cinema production, delayed movie releases and closed theatres amid the COVID-19 infection are the front line problems currently the Indian film industry is confronting.
Trade Analyst Komal Nahta was quoted in a report released by American Media Company that Indian film industry is most likely to suffer losses of more than $330 Million (INR 2500 crores).
Furthermore, Mr. Nahta said that even if the movies production is resumed post lockdown lifting, the movie stars are likely to face pay cuts to make up for the immense losses to the industry.
The catch to theatre operations resumption is that the capacity of theatres would be very low and would not be operating to their full threshold capacity due to the social distancing protocols. This will further impact the profit margin of the industry and production houses.
Mr. Komal Nahta gave an example of Chinese film industry in his statement. He pointed that the theatres in China are selling tickets according to social distancing practice, with every seat sold one is to be vacant. If Indian movie theatres practice this then it would be difficult to procure even 50% of the losses incurred by the industry.
In 2019 the estimated box office revenue of Indian film industry reached $1.4 billion, according to annual report published by Ormax Media, a consulting firm.
The key to handle this loss, Nahta said, is in hands of big names in the industry, both on screen and off screen as the major movie budget is constituted by their fees. Most likely these stars will have to face a major pay cut to make up for the losses.
The film industry might take some time to bounce back with delayed releases and less theatre occupancy. Empathy, cooperation and rationalization are important for the making up of these losses and long term health of the industry.