The outbreak of coronavirus has impacted the businesses and industries world over and the film industry is no exception. With halted shootings, closed cinema theatres, and canceled events, the film industry is arguably one of the few industries that are severely hit and bearing the brunt of this crisis. The day of EID too brings no joy as the whole industry witnesses major losses in the festive season.
The festive slot of Eid, predominantly an opening day for big releases in Bollywood and also synonymous for Salman Khan’s big-budget releases over the last 11 years, had no release this year.
The actor has had tremendous success consecutively every year on EID in the form of Dabangg, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, etc. which proved festive season a revenue-making slot for everyone in the entertainment industry.
Taran Adarsh, a movie critic, and movie trade analyst took a glance at the opening numbers of Salman’s releases on EID, which indeed say that Bollywood had a significant loss on EID.
#SalmanKhan starrers and the festive week of #Eid… What was *Day 1* biz?… Actually, it all started with #Wanted [#Eid 2009]… Let’s have a look at the chart – from 2010 to 2019 – about the *opening day* numbers… Note: #Salman did not have a movie release on #Eid 2013. https://t.co/QJGBAXNG8E
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) May 22, 2020
The film industry is reeling under huge losses as the analysts predict INR 1500 crores loss during the lockdown. The ripple effect of COVID-19 is also on every other sector that had even a remote stake in it, which includes everyone from suppliers, distributors, advertisers, event organizers, media, and biggest multiplexes like INOX, PVR.
An Indian express report specified that Equitybulls that Acuité expects a sharp 50 percent drop in multiplex footfalls in the next quarter particularly in metro and Tier-II cities.
The moot question is how can we emerge out of this crisis?
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- No extras or large crowds in the shooting will be allowed.
- Increased expenditures in maintaining social distancing norms while shooting.
- Closed movie theatres that will not be opening for a long time.
- Need more medical people on staff.
- Restrictions on set in what you can wear and how you interact with actors.
- Post-production editing will not be a joint effort anymore.
- OTT channels are not able to assess the number of people sharing the screen.
A Silver Lining for the Silver Screen
As every other sector had its own challenges and made an effort to come out of the crisis and continue work despite challenges, the film industry can also do the same.
However, with changing consumer behavior, social distancing norms, and the increasing prominence of OTT, the industry will have to redefine its way of making films and doing business.
Here is how we see the film industry moving despite pandemic:-
- There will be a major shift in the film-economic as the industry tries harder to emerge itself out of the heavy losses. From the actors to the production houses, there will be a big change in the budgets of films and what actors charge, which could help the industry get back on track.
- Technology will have its game rolling in the industry with advanced developments in animation, VFX, virtual reality, and Artificial Intelligence in order to prevent more real sets or crowds in shoots.
- The OTT channels can use the technological advancements to monitor the number of people watching from one screen and monetize it accordingly.
- Using big data analytics OTT channels can improve their monetization process and policies given the rise in demand for content consumption.
- The distributors will have to switch to the open-air cinema, drive-thru movie theatres for the new releases in the future.
- This would also give a surge in demand for smart TVs and home theater-recliners to enjoy a multiplex-like experience at home.
- The marketing and advertising teams will have to come up with different creative routes to promote films digitally or on social media platforms.
- New event coordinating apps for listing and ticketing could have newer opportunities in front of them related to film promotion, theater streaming, etc.
As the demand for the content goes up in the counties, these will be some fine ways to adapt new habits and change in order to bring the industry back on its feet.