The coronavirus lockdown will likely result in a $330 million (Rs 2500 crore) loss for the Indian film industry, and force 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 open back up, they won't operate at capacity, with social distancing norms in place. Citing the example of Chinese theatres, he said, "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 top actors in the industry, such as Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone, 'help the industry rake in revenue from audiences around the world', the report said. "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 have 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 such as Sooryavanshi and '83 to be indefinitely delayed. Actor Irrfan Khan's final film, Angrezi Medium, was hurt at the box office, where its run was cut short by the lockdown order.