LAHORE: Almost a month after the release of Ijaz Bajwa’s Punjabi flick Channa Sachi Muchi, its prospects for becoming a hit look dim.
The revenue generated by the movie is positive if compared to the business done by other Punjabi and Lollywood flicks but when compared with the cost of the movie it shows that the turn out has been low. The movie was released across Punjab on April 16 and the estimated cost of the movie is near Rs50 million, but it has only earned approximately Rs7 million from across the province. Channa Sachi Muchi stars Babar Ali, Moammar Rana, Saima and Hina Shaheen in the lead roles. The movie is set in a post- Partition scenario.
Channa Sachi Muchi was released on 14 prints in Punjab and has not been released in other provinces so far. The film’s director and producer Ijaz Bajwa told The Express Tribune that he plans to take Channa Sachi Muchi to Karachi and some other cities of Sindh. “I am doing a lot of things on my own. I plan to release this movie in (the Australian cities of) Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and in New Zealand.
We are finalising talks in this regard.” “The movie was supposed to be released there in mid-May but now it may be delayed till July as I am working on some other marketing aspects as well. I also plan to release this movie in the UK and Canada afterwards where there exists an audience for Punjabi films,” he said. When asked about the low returns of the movie, Bajwa said that at the very least he had taken a bold step to make a film with a large budget and now others could follow the suit.
“The point is that people should come out to see Pakistani movies. The have lost faith and now it will take some time to get them back (in the cinema) to watch Pakistani films,” he said. According to the preliminary figures, the recently-released Indo-Pak Punjabi film Virsa has not received a positive response and critics believe the investors will have to suffer a financial loss.
Pakistan Cinema Management Association Chairman Qaiser Sanaullah Khan told The Express Tribune that the turn out of the people across the country to watch Virsa had been very low. “I think that if it doesn’t gain momentum in coming days, the investors are going to bear a heavy loss,” he said.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010