KARACHI: For Pakistani film-makers, Eid holidays hold a great deal of reverence. Not only does the occasion grant them the luxury of a longer weekend, but also sees cinema-goers flock to movie houses in large numbers.
Surprisingly, this year Eidul Fitr is shaping up to be a relatively dull affair in terms of box office runs. With not many notable Pakistani movies releasing, the long box office weekend is going to be a one-way race with Salman Khan-starrer Sultan expected to outpace them all.
One of the Pakistani movies which will premiere on Eid is Faisal Bukhari’s Blind Love. With no star names attached to the film, if you do not consider Mathira as one, not many will be troubling ticket collectors at the box office for the film. Despite the tough competition from the Bollywood superstar’s film, Blind Love producer Ejaz Kamran maintained his movie is strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Sultan.
According to Kamran, this is not the first time a film of his is facing competition. Citing the example of his previous releases, Bhai Log and Sultanat, Kamran shared that despite releasing alongside Khan’s Bodyguard and Kick, the two films outdid themselves at single-screen cinemas. “For instance, Sultanat earned nearly Rs4.8 million in Shabistan Cinema (Lahore) whereas Kick only made Rs3.5 million in Metropole Cinema (Lahore),” he shared. “Even though Sultanat outperformed Kick in certain cinemas, exhibitors still pulled the film down to increase the number of shows for Salman Khan’s movie.”
Although Indian films are to thank for helping in reviving Pakistan’s cinema culture once again, Kamran maintained that on occasions such as Eid, local films should be given preference. “The government should take notice of this and they should ensure that Pakistani films are given more screens so as to encourage our own industry,” he added.
Sultan is not the only movie that would be making Blind Love’s initiation tough. With Pixar’s Finding Dory also expected to release during the same weekend, Blind Love is going to be screened during a very crowded Eid weekend.
When asked about the box office potential of the movie, Kamran responded by saying, “Ask any producer and they will expect their movie to do well commercially.”
He was confident about the movie recording an opening weekend in the range of Rs30-40 million. Even the distributors of the film, IMGC Entertainment, believe that Blind Love would benefit from the holiday release.
“Not everyone would be able to see Sultan so those who are unable to, would definitely want to see another film,” explained an IMGC official requesting anonymity. “So Blind Love will benefit greatly from the footfall it gets as a result of Sultan.”
Blind Love features an ensemble cast of Yasir Khan, Nimra Khan, Aamir Qureshi, Fawad Jalal and Mathira. The movie endured a lengthy production, with shooting spells taking place in multiple locations across Pakistan whereas post-production was carried out in Bangkok.
The other Pakistani film slated to release on Eid is Sawaal 700 Crore Dollar Ka.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2016.