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Indian box office lost more than Rs 15,000 cr in 2020-21: Ormax Media

Telugu has surpassed Hindi to emerge as the highest-grossing film industry.

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Mumbai: The Indian box office lost more than Rs 15,000 crore to the pandemic in the year 2020 and 2021, according to Ormax Media’s ‘The Ormax Box Office Report 2020-21’ released on Monday. The report 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).

Footfalls came down from 103.0 crore in 2019 to 22.5 crore and 42.7 crore in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Among other findings, the Telugu language industry commanded a maximum share at the box office at 29 per cent. Hindi’s share fell from 44 per cent to 27 per cent.

Compared to the gross box office of almost Rs 11,000 crore in 2019, the cumulative revenue across 2020 and 2021 put together stood at only Rs 5,757 crore (an annual average of less than Rs 2,900 crore). If 2019 is taken as the benchmark, the Indian film industry lost at least Rs 15,000 crore at the box office because of the pandemic.

“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," said Ormax Media founder and CEO Shailesh Kapoor. "The good news is that the last quarter of 2021 (Oct-Dec) saw an excellent recovery, registering gross box office of more than Rs 2,000 crore, which reaffirms that the theatrical business is very much here to say.”

The pandemic years also saw significant changes in the share of different language industries within the Indian film industry. With 29 per cent share of the box office (2020 and 2021 cumulative), the Telugu language industry took the top position, ahead of Hindi, whose share declined from 44 per cent to 27 per cent.

Four Telugu films ("Pushpa," "Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo," "Sarileru Neekevvaru," and "Vakeel Saab") feature in the top 10 films across the two years, compared to only three Hindi films ("Tanhaji," "Sooryavanshi" and "83"). "Spider-Man: No Way Home" (Hollywood), "Master" and "Darbar" (both Tamil) complete the top 10 list.

Speaking about Southern languages’ growing share of box office partner - Ormax Media Gautam Jain stated, “The cumulative share of the four South languages went up from 36 per cent in 2019 to 59 per cent 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.”

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