The coronavirus lockdown will probably lead to a $330 million (Rs 2500 crore) reduction for the Indian film industry and induce top actors to take pay-cuts once operations resume.
A CNN report quotes trade analyst Komal Nahta as saying that even if theatres were to start up, they wouldn’t operate at capacity, with social distancing standards set up. Citing the example of Chinese theatres, he explained, “If you’re selling tickets based on social distancing, you’re reducing your capacity because for every seat you sell, you keep one vacant. If your capacity is 50%, it will not support the huge film budgets.”
The Indian film industry relies on domestic box office, but also on its stars’ global appeal. Some of the greatest actors in the business, such as Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone,’assist the market rake in revenue from audiences around the world’, the report stated. “With India, the problems are manifold because all the cinemas across the world will have to open,” Nahta said. “Overseas revenues for big Hindi films form a huge component of the total revenue.”
According to the trade analyst, top names — both in front of and behind the camera — will need to take pay-cuts. He noted that in India, the majority of movie budgets are allocated to the stars.
The coronavirus lockdown has forced major films like Sooryavanshi and’83 to be indefinitely delayed. Actor Irrfan Khan’s final film, Angrezi Medium, was hurt in the box office, where its conduct was cut short by the lockdown order.