Mumbai: By now over 124 countries across the globe are already in the Corona grab and almost every sector is suffering badly. Bollywood is no different!
We are in a country where Bollwood and Cricket are considered to be one of the most sought over entertainment options by the public. And when it comes to Bollywood, be it a rickshaw puller or a big business tycoon or a public servant, all of us connect by heart somwehere or the other with the characters, stories, incidents as depicted in our favourite flicks.
It is a normal sight in our country to see audiences waiting for Friday morning amd beelining the cinema halls to witness there favourite stars in action. It all started way back during 2010 when a 100 Crore box office collection became a benchmark for the biggies at the box office. Gradually this 100 Crore benchmark went on increasing to 300 + Crores by 2019!
For our film industry 2020 was going almost perfect with movies like TANHAJI, CHHAPAAK, Street Dancer 3D, MALANG and THAPPAD doing fairly good business at the box office across the nation. When we say fairly good business, it is in context of the costs involved and the star power of a particular actor in that movie. But, when on 6th March 2020 BAAGHI-3 hit cinema screens across the Globe, it was shocking to see the box ofdice collections. The film was carrying good reports since the time it went on floors and was expected to garner big sums at the box office combined with a long run too. This was the first time when we witnessed effect of Corona Virus at the box office! This film on its pre release buzz, reports and merit could have easily crossed the Rs.100 Crores figure in its first week but sadly it could barely cross Rs.85 Crores in its seven days. Its was heart breaking to see people startung to keep away from the cinema halls and preferring to avoid watching their super stars in action on the silver screen.
On 13th March 2020, another high on content and eagerly awaited movie “Angrezzi Medium” starring Irrfan Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan, directed by Homi Adjania released nationwide which though was holding excellent reports and high pre release buzz opened to an unexpected lukewarm response at the cinema halls, courtsey Corona Virus.
This was just a pick from the movies already released. But, a bigger setback came with the news of some big multi starrers being postponed to unannounced future dates. One of the hardest punch to hit the Box Office die to Corona is the recent postponement of “SOORYAWANSHI”. This film was to be released on 24th March 2020 but now has been postponed to an unannounced future date. Sooryawanshi has been directed by Ace Action Director Rohit Shetty and casts super statrs like Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh. Trailer of the film has already fetched over 65 Million views in just a week’ time. Trade analysts had predicted this film to be one of the biggest box office smash hits of all the times, postponement of which alone could be a solid blow of around 300 Crores + to the film industry.
Other movies in que to be relased are Kabir Khan directed “83” starring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone whai h is due to hit the screens on 10 April 2020, Shoojit Sirkar’s “Gulabo Sitabo” starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana on 17th April, Varun Dhawan & Sara Ali Khan starrer “Coolie No.1” directed by David Dhawan to be released on 1st May.
No surprise that Corona Virus will make the Box Office its target and a minum of Rs.400 Crore loss looks evifent if the movie goers keep themselves in quarantine mode or if such big releases get postponed and cancelled.
Lets hope for the things to get better in coming days and hope to see crowds agaim enjoying themselves with a big basket of popcorn alongwith their loved ones.
The author is a film distributor having released over 75 Bollywood and Hollwood movies