The coronavirus outbreak has hit commerce and industry very hard. The film industry too is facing the impact. From shooting to releases Bollywood is taking a hard hit over the pandemic. Will entertainment have to change its model following the outbreak?
Bollywood has lately been facing a major crisis in light of the outbreak of the disease. It's not just Bollywood though, the world over entertainment as an industry has had to make major changes and production has been hampered. It's also commerce and other industries who've taken a beating in this process.
Bollywood looks at an 800 crore loss following Coronavirus crisis
The Coronavirus pandemic has really made its presence felt in all walks and aspects of economy and governance. Film releases are being pushed, entertainment models have to change, events are being cancelled, shoots are being called off. This is just the tip of the iceberg though. For every cancellation and postponement, the industry stands to lose large sums of money.
If we look at films, we're seeing huge losses suffered at the box office from cinemas being shut and the public fear of the disease. The need of the hour is safety but that means production houses and big-ticket banners are playing a losing battle. Even weeks of no releases or movies being shelved is time and money lost.
Movies like Baaghi 3 suffered at the box office despite setting really high expectations and having all the makings of a major mass-entertainer. Reportedly the move lost about 25-30 crores easily in the whole process. If Baaghi 3 suffered this fate, Angrezi Medium which was looking at moderate profits was hit much harder.
Komal Nahta, a major film trade analyst spoke to a media house about the losses incurred, he even said that postponements, cancellations of the shoot and the like leave the industry in a dicey position where they stand to lose about 800 crores. Recently Radhe, another big banner film starring Salman Khan cancelled two legs of their shoot in exotic locations owing to the travel risk. Films like Sooryavanshi and 83 have had to push release dates, even Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar the Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra-starrer went through the same drill.
Moreover, all shootings for all films, web series and other content has been stopped till March 31st according to the latest circular. The fate of the industry then lies in the hands of the virus.
All these films are looking at April releases, but will the closeness of dates mean that the market is split between films causing high competition? Taran Adarsh thinks there might be issues and that we're looking at a 'chaotic calendar' when talking to a leading daily. He pointed out there are only 52 weeks in a year and multiple releases.
What do losses mean for Bollywood?
Losses rarely ever imply something positive unless someone else benefits from it. Cinemas shutting down doesn't just mean losses to movie-makers, it's a loss for distributors and theatres as well. Theatres still have to pay rent even when there will be no revenue generation. What's worse is that this was unforeseen and films which were expected to perform are now losing out on the opportunity.
However, we can also look forward to a rise of OTT platforms and TRPs as mainstream silver screen takes a backseat. We can definitely hope that platforms like Netflix and Prime will see a burst in streaming as well as Television staging a comeback. We can only hope that all is not lost, yet. As they say, safety first.