It is not only Hollywood studios that have been forced to rethink film distribution in 2020.
India’s Bollywood is responsible for the world’s second-largest film output, totaling $2.5B in box office sales in 2019. India’s studios had planned a full slate of theatrical releases for 2020, until the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March when the country’s 10,000 cinemas were forced to close. With many still shuttered and others operating at limited capacity, the exhibition has had to make do by playing re-issues of popular releases from years past and new releases, low-budget films.
Bollywood studios have moved 28 major releases to streaming services including Netflix, Amazon, and Hotstar, India’s largest streaming service which is owned by Disney. Keep in mind that Bollywood produced 1,800 features last year, so these 28 films represent only a fraction of its output. Nonetheless, experts predict that the role of streaming will continue to grow, becoming an important outlet for Bollywood film distribution.
See also: A year off script – Time for resilience: KPMG in India’s Media and Entertainment Report (KPMG Report)