Box office: ‘Actor in Law’ leading, ‘Janaan’ and ‘Maalik’ catching up

End of opening week changes little for ‘Janaan’, ‘Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay’

Rahul Aijaz September 20, 2016
The Nabeel Qureshi directorial has so far raked in Rs110 million. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The three Pakistani releases that came out on Eidul Azha – namely Actor in Law, Janaan and Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay – may have received mixed to mostly positive reviews but their box office figures indicate they are all going steady.

By the end of their opening week, all three films retained their original spots with Actor in Law still leading the race, having collected over Rs110 million. Exhibitors seem to agree that the Nabeel Qureshi directorial has been pulling in great footfall all week. Urdu 1 Marketing Manager Sajjad Haider said, “Actor in Law is doing great business because it has great content and visuals rivaling any Indian film. In some cases, it is better than that even!”

Janaan’s collections could not be confirmed but it did rake in about Rs39.2 million over the three-day Eid holidays. The film’s total worldwide collection so far has been Rs130 million while the final figures from the local box office are expected to be in by Friday.

As far as Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is concerned, total figures have not yet been put together for it either. However, what is evident is that the Anjum Shahzad directorial is still in third place. Exhibitors stated the film has done relatively less business, as compared to the other two films.

Additionally, Ashir Azeem’s Maalik is performing well too, despite a minimum number of shows available to it. Perhaps all the controversy it found itself in has worked out for the best, drawing in crowds who want to see what the buzz was about. Atrium Cinemas Managing Director Nadeem Mandviwalla claimed Maalik has been performing really well. “We have given it only one show in the afternoon but still, it’s getting about 50% to 60% occupancy,” he said.

Exhibitors also confirmed that attendance in theatres dropped Monday onwards, as is the norm. Nonetheless, Mandviwalla reiterated that Actor in Law had an average occupancy of 95% to 97%, Janaan with 89% to 92% and Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay with 85%. “The shows were all sold out over the weekend. The attendance slightly dropped yesterday but regardless, the films are doing great business.”

Commenting on what footfall will be like during the rest of this week, Mandviwalla added, “Until now, it was the holiday season. But now comes a crucial time to see which film manages to stay on top.” Super Cinemas General Manager Khorem Gultasab echoed his sentiments and said, “This week is going to reveal how much these films are actually worth.”

Gultasab added that Janaan has gradually been catching up. “The weekend saw both Janaan and Actor in Law having almost 100% occupancy,” he shared. “Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay was at about 80% already so Monday brought a significant drop in business for it, while the other two films experienced only a slight drop.”

According to Cinepax Cinemas Marketing Manager Mohsin Yaseen, overall attendance dropped about 50% on Monday. “But that is normal after long holidays. The coming weekend will be almost similar, in terms of shows allocated to the films,” he said. “The only change is that three new films are coming this weekend, Banjo, Sully and Magnificent Seven, and they will be allocated minimum shows. I think all three Pakistani films are going to retain their spots this week as well.”

As far as the lifetime business expectations go, Actor in Law producer Fizza Ali Meerza said she would not quote a figure. “I don’t think in terms of numbers. I am glad that people are coming to watch the film and liking it,” she said. “We have had tough competition from local movies and even Bollywood, and have stood in the face of it. It’s great to see that our film is doing particularly well.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2016.

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