The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by Omicron, is projected to affect new film releases, delaying multiplex income recovery by three to five months, according to Crisil.
"The reimposition of localised lockdowns and temporary closure of multiplexes in key States to limit the third wave of Covid-19 infections is projected to reduce footfalls and force film makers to postpone fresh releases," the credit rating agency stated in a report.
It stated that this would push the entire revenue recovery of multiplexes to the second half of next fiscal year, rather than the first quarter as previously envisaged. "However, if the limits are eliminated, the pace of recovery is projected to be rapid -as was shown after the second wave," the report stated.
"The temporary stoppage of activities in New Delhi/National Capital Region, Bihar, Haryana, and restrictions in other key States such as Maharashtra may push back new film releases," stated Nitesh Jain, director of Crsil Ratings. "A couple big-ticket movies like 'RRR' and 'Jersey' have already been pushed out indefinitely," he remarked. In our basic assumption," he said, "the third wave will peak in February and bottom out by the end of March." "We expect big-ticket content to return to theatres in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, boosting occupancy dramatically." "However, a full recovery is only predicted in the second half of next fiscal," he added.