With the declaration of the novel coronavirus as an epidemic in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also announced that all theatres and schools/colleges will remain closed till March 31 in the capital city. With this news, the film trade in the city is bound to be impacted with major losses predicted at the Box-Office. The big banner films that are scheduled to release before March 31 are set to have lower occupancy on an opening day resulting in lower collections as well.
For trade analysts, Delhi and NCR are some of the biggest markets within the entertainment industry. Upcoming Homi Adajania directed Angrezi Medium and Rohit Shetty's Sooryavanshi will have to bear the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak which has the entire country in danger. Film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh spoke to a leading national daily after Kejriwal's announcement and expressed his shock as Delhi is a Tier -1 city and will cost the producers crores and crores of rupees if the films do not release in the city. Sooryavanshi has gone on to defer its release.
Because our safety always, always comes first. Stay safe and take care of yourself 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/CnNfMT6Kck— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) March 12, 2020
Adarsh added that the Irrfan Khan starrer film Angrezi Medium will be in the forefront for this blow as it is scheduled to release on Friday,i.e., within 24 hours of the announcement in New Delhi. With other big-budget films like Rohit Shetty's Sooryavanshi and Kabir Khan's '83, the stakes are even higher as the new release dates might overlap with each other. He said that there are plenty of factors to be accounted for if the release of a film is postponed by a few weeks as compared to getting a fractured release in the midst of the cinema halls shut down.
However, it is not only the national film trade but also the other countries that are affected by the novel coronavirus that will impact a film's business. Other countries like the US, UAE, Australia and most of South East Asia have been huge markets for Indian films and the producers are most likely to feel the pinch in their collections in these markets as well.
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