By Our Insights Desk
The pandemic has disrupted the Indian theatrical business for about two years now. During this period, theatres have been closed under the various lockdowns imposed by Central and State Governments. Releases have been postponed, rescheduled, and then postponed again. It should, then, come as no surprise to anyone that the Indian box office business has faced a loss of more than ₹ 15,000 Cr in the two pandemic years, 2020 & 2021 (though this loss is notional in part, as producers have managed to generate revenue from streaming rights: see this July 2021 analysis by Shailesh Kapoor, Gautam Jain and Amit Bhatia for more).
Last week, we released The Ormax Box Office Report 2020 & 2021, which summarises the story of the Indian box office over the last two calendar years. You can download the report here.
Some highlights from the report:
1. The pandemic severely impact the Indian box office in 2020 & 2021, with the cumulative gross box office from two years being just ₹ 5,757 Cr, which is more than ₹ 5,000 Cr lower than what the Indian film industry grossed in 2019 alone.
2. 2020 saw an 81% drop in box office collections vis-à-vis 2019. Aided by the last quarter (Oct-Dec), 2021 registered a recovery and closed at ₹ 3,701 Cr, vis-à-vis just ₹ 2,056 Cr in 2020.
3. Of the eight quarters in 2020 & 2021, three were washouts because of theatres being closed, and two others showed negligible business. Jan-Mar 2020, Jan-Mar 2021 and Oct-Dec 2021 contributed to 87% of the gross box office from 2020 & 2021 put together.
4. Footfalls dropped from 103.0 Cr in 2019 to 22.5 Cr in 2020, before recovering to 42.7 Cr in 2021.
5. With very few major Hindi releases in the pandemic years, Hindi cinema’s share of box office fell from 44% in 2019 to just 27% in 2020-21. Hollywood also saw a drop in share from 15% to 11%.
6. The four South languages showed better performance than Hindi and Hollywood, aided by major releases when theatres were open. Their contribution to domestic box office increase from 36% in 2019 to 59% in 2020-21.
7. Telugu cinema was the strongest industry in the pandemic years, with 28% share of box office in 2020-21. Of the top 10 films across the two years, four came from the Telugu industry.
Across the world, many analysts have hastened to write the obituary of the theatrical medium. But if the last quarter of 2021 is any indication, the Indian box office business can bounce back in no time at all, and 2022 may not be too far behind 2019 after all (see this October 2021 post based on one of our other reports for more on that).
To download The Ormax Box Office Report 2020-21 in PDF format, click here.
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