Third wave set to delay multiplex recovery: Crisil

‘Big ticket movie releases postponed indefinitely’

The Omicron led third wave of COVID-19 pandemic is expected to impact new film releases and thus push the revenue recovery of multiplexes farther by three to five months, said Crisil.

“The reimposition of localised lockdowns and temporary closure of multiplexes in key States to contain the third wave of Covid-19 infections are expected to cut footfalls and compel producers of films to defer new releases,” the credit rating agency said in a report.

That would push back full revenue recovery of multiplexes to the second half of next fiscal, versus the first quarter we expected earlier, it added.

“But once restrictions are lifted, the pace of recovery is expected to be sharp — as was witnessed after the second wave,” it said.

Temporary closure

Nitesh Jain, director, Crsil Ratings, said, “The temporary closure of operations in New Delhi/National Capital Region, Bihar, Haryana and restrictions in other key States such as Maharashtra will push back new film releases.”

“A few big-ticket films such as ‘RRR’ and ‘Jersey’ have already been postponed indefinitely,” he said.

“Our base case assumes the third wave to peak in February and bottom out by the end of March,” he added.

“We expect theatre release of big-ticket content to resume in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, which should sharply improve occupancy. A full recovery, however, is expected only in the second half of next fiscal,” he added.

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