KARACHI: Parchi’s release on January 5 marked a relatively better opening to 2018. Collecting over Rs70 million, the film fared better than local films did in 2017. Nearly a month later and there are three Pakistani films that are set to release on February 2, 2018.
A horror flick Pari, an animated film Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor and Adeel Chaudhary and Iranian-German model Naaz Norouzi’s Maan Jao Na.
Directed by Uzair Zaheer Khan, Allahyar stars Ali Noor, Natasha Humera Ejaz, Azfar Jafri and Anum Zaidi. The film is a coming-of-age story with a wildlife conservation theme. According to Khan, it revolves around a boy name Allahyar, who “has ideals and ambitions that get challenged when he’s thrown into an adventure where he discovers a world he never knew existed.”
Pari, on the other hand, offers a local take on the supernatural. Talking to The Express Tribune, Pari director Syed Atif Ali said, “I like films which stay with you long after leaving the cinema. I believe Pari is one of those films, which will stay with you after long you’ve watched it.”
Maan Jao Na, on the other hand, boasts a fun-loving, colourful story and also marks Norouzi’s cinematic debut. The supermodel has worked in high profile ads, including working with A-list Bollywood actor Salman Khan as well as walked the ramp for brands such as Dior, Hugo Boss and L’Oréal. She has trained in Persian dancing, and is also currently working on a Bollywood film.
Following the not-so-surprising massive success of Padmaavat in late January, the three Pakistani films are set to clash on the box office. While the three releases on a single day may appear a good indication for the growth of local cinema, it surely doesn’t sound like a good business move.
While all three films coming from different genres give the audience a much-needed variety of choice, their tailing at Padmaavat’s success may prove to be quite counterproductive. The Deepika Padukone-starrer is still going strong at the box office, which means that rest of the shows will be divided among the local films as well as Hollywood releases such as The Greatest Showman, The Shape of Water and Maze Runner.
A quick look at the websites of multiplexes shows that the move clearly divides the business, with around 50% of the shows dedicated to Padmaavat. While the film-makers may be relying on the Bollywood film’s footfall (one film’s popularity benefitting the business of others; the term literally means the amount of people walking through the door), it could have been the case if there were just one local film. The rest depends on the film’s quality and positive word of mouth.
Now all that remains to be seen is whether horror fans come to the rescue of Pari, children barge in for their new ‘Pixar-esque’ hero Allahyar and the catchy music and colourful visuals of Maan Jao Na convince cinemagoers to head to movie theatres.
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