The lockdown period will end on 3rd May nationwide. But all services will not be resumed at one go. The social distancing norms will continue and restrictions on large gatherings will remain unchanged until May last week. In other words, movie theaters will not begin operations in May as well.
So, now let’s focus on how much the Telugu movie industry is going to lose by skipping the summer season. Before the corona crisis began, trade pundits estimated that summer 2020 would do more than Rs 400 crore business. Pawan Kalyan’s ‘Vakeel Saab’, which was slated for May 15 release, would have done about Rs 150 crore business. Then other medium-range movies like Nani and Sudheer Babu’s ‘V’, Ram Pothineni’s ‘Red’, Anushka’s ‘Nishabdham’, Sai Dharam Tej’s ‘Solo Brathuke So Better’ and Ravi Teja’s ‘Krack’ would have added another Rs 150 crore.
The other films that were slated for summer 2020 include Sekhar Kammula – Naga Chaitanya’s ‘Love Story’, Vaishnav Tej’s ‘Uppena’, Raj Tarun’s ‘Orey Bujjigaa’, Sharwanand’s ‘Sreekaram’, Bellamkonda Srinivas’s Untitled romantic drama, Rana’s ‘Aranya’ and other small films would have contributed more than Rs 100 crore.
All these films have now been rescheduled. The new release dates will be announced once the crisis comes to and. The question is: will these films do the same business as they would have done during the normal summer holidays? Very doubtful!
Mounting interest rates
To top it all, the producers will have to pay interests to the financiers as the releases are getting delayed. These mounting interests will eat the profits (if any). The longer the movie gets delayed, the interests will be higher.
Even if Tollywood retracts from this morass, the business will not remain the same. At least for another year.