Several Bollywood films have been pushed back to new release dates, including the much-awaited Akshay Kumar-starrer “Sooryavanshi" and the restricted release of “Angrezi Medium", in some cities because of the outbreak of coronavirus in India, which has led to a loss of INR 4 billion (over $54 million) for the Bollywood industry.
“If we compare this quarter vis-à-vis the last year's quarter (2019), there is a deficit of Rs. 400 crores (INR 4 billion) that can be seen, because what has happened is that last year we had many films like 'Uri: The Surgical Strike', 'Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi' , 'Gully Boy', and 'Kesari', and this year, notably, there is only one picture, 'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior', so far that has done great. Films like 'Malang', 'Baaghi 3' [were] doing okay along with 'Thappad', so the Box office report for February was pretty much low, and now because major theatres have been shut as we speak - it’s a major setback”, senior trade analyst Girish Johar told Sputnik.
Akshay Kumar's "Sooryavanshi" was scheduled to hit the screens on 24 March, but the makers pushed the date back because of the coronavirus, while shooting of many Bollywood films has been cancelled, including Salman Khan-starrer “Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai”.
Even the release of Hollywood films has been deferred to the second half of this year and next year, including “Fast & Furious 9”, and the James Bond franchise “No Time To Die”.
“Not only in India, even the Hollywood films have been indefinitely postponed. There is a panic and we don’t know how long it will take to come back to normalcy”, said Johar. “Honestly, this is a big blow to the industry, as Rs. INR 4 billion (over $54 million) is not a small amount and we are talking only about first-quarter. Hope we recover in the last three quarters and come out with bigger numbers and make it a healthy number for Indian cinema”, he added.
The Wuhan-originated novel coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It has infected over 127,000 people globally, with at least 75 positive cases in India.