This isn’t something that anyone was expecting. Typically, Bollywood does face a lean period when the IPL is on, the exam season is in process or pre-festival days, like a week or two leading to Diwali. The release dates are planned accordingly so that the biggest and the best of the films get the right release dates. Though there is scampering of slots even then, the big guns do arm their way into getting the best of the deals and audiences benefit out of it as well.
However, how does one plan for a pandemic like corona virus which arrives totally unannounced and results in practically a global shutdown?
This is where the best of the theories and predictions do for a toss, something that has resulted in a loss of over 200 crores already for Bollywood as the first quarter comes to a close.
The biggest casualty that the industry is facing today is the postponing of Sooryavanshi. The Akshay Kumar starrer, which sees the actor collaborating with Rohit Shetty for the first time ever, has been pushed ahead indefinitely with the makers (rightly) announcing ‘safety first’. The film, which was supposed to have an early release on Tuesday, 24th March, could have potentially brought in around 150 crores by 31st March. Now one would have to wait for these fireworks for a much longer timeframe.
Meanwhile, Baaghi 3 has faced the heat already. This is one film that could have comfortably gone past the 150 crores mark if not for the corona virus scare. First its opening weekend was impacted in a big way and then the weekdays saw lesser than optimal footfalls. Despite that the film managed to be a decent success at least. However, one wonders how much loss it is going to bear (in reference to the profits that it would gained) had the run been uninterrupted. Guess it would be 40-50 crores for the film when the final tally would be put together.
On the other hand the last new release Angrezi Medium faced maximum heat. The Irrfan Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan starrer decided to stick to its release date, though in hindsight it would have helped had it chosen to arrive on a later date, especially after it was becoming more and more clear that there would be a challenge to screen it in theatres and then entice audiences to queue up for it. Result? While one waits to see where does it eventually land up, at least 25 crores loss is on the cards for Angrezi Medium.
While this is the scenario for the month of March, the heat would continue right into April as well as May since Ranveer Singh’s biggie ‘83, which was supposed to release on 10th April, has been pushed ahead indefinitely as well. This one again was a potential 150 crores grosser at the least, something which would now have to wait for another week. Add to that the good run of Sooryavanshi that could well have contributed to around 100 crores more in April and Bollywood is already staring at a huge loss. This isn’t all as Coolie No. 1 [1st May] as well as Eid releases Laxmmi Bomb and Radhe are set to be pushed ahead as well, which would result in the second quarter of the year to be the dullest ever.
One just hopes that situation comes back to normalcy sooner than later. If one goes by the statistics, 2018 had seen over 4000 crores been accumulated by Hindi releases. That’s an average of 80 crores per week. With a mix of big, medium and small films that were set to arrive one after another, there is an average loss of 80 crores that Bollywood will face week after week.
Do the math!