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Indian box office lost more than ₹15,000 crore to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021: Report

Media consulting firm Ormax Media has released its annual report, titled The Ormax Box Office Report 2020-21. The report, first launched in 2016, looks at the Indian box office across languages, highlighting key trends in the theatrical sector. Because of theatres being shut for several months during the pandemic, Ormax Media has released a combined edition for the two pandemic-impacted years (2020 and 2021).

The report analyses the impact of the pandemic on the Indian box office. Compared to gross box office of almost ₹ 11,000 Cr in 2019, the cumulative revenue across 2020 and 2021 put together stood at only ₹ 5,757 Cr (an annual average of less than ₹ 2,900 crore. If 2019 is taken as the benchmark, the Indian film industry lost at least ₹ 15,000 Cr at the box office because of the pandemic. The footfalls also came down from 103.0 Cr in 2019 to 22.5 Cr and 42.7 Cr in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

The pandemic years also saw significant changes in the share of different language industries within the Indian film industries. With 29% share of box office (2020 & 2021 cumulative), the Telugu language industry took the top position, ahead of Hindi, whose share declined from 44% to 27%. Four Telugu films (Pushpa, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, Sarileru Neekevvaru & Vakeel Saab) feature in the top 10 films across the two years, compared to only three Hindi films (Tanhaji, Sooryavanshi & 83). Spider-Man: No Way Home (Hollywood), Master & Darbar (both Tamil) complete the top 10 list.

Speaking about the report, Shailesh Kapoor, Founder & CEO – Ormax Media, said: “The pandemic has severely impacted the Indian box office, with five out of the eight quarters in 2020 and 2021 having zero or negligible business, because of theatres being shut in all or most parts of India. The good news is that the last quarter of 2021 (Oct-Dec) saw excellent recovery, registering gross box office of more than Rs. 2,000 Cr, which reaffirms that the theatrical business is very much here to say.”

Speaking about the growing share of box office from the Southern languages, Gautam Jain, Partner – Ormax Media, said: “The cumulative share of the four South languages went up from 36% in 2019 to 59% in 2020 & 2021, highlighting how these industries managed to navigate through the pandemic with more relative success than Hindi films. While we can expect Hindi cinema to stage a recovery in 2022, the rise of South cinema is a story to watch out for.” Business Insider

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