LAHORE: Eid is here once again and so is the biggest box office competition. The festival is perhaps the only season when audiences from all segments of society flock into cinemas across the country and their strength shows in record-breaking numbers. This Eidul Azha even bigger numbers are expected as the government has merged Independence Day celebrations with Eid days and announced three days of holidays following the weekend that starts on Saturday. This will allow Eid films to run smoothly for three days till Wednesday and then another weekend will follow two days later on Friday.
With just a little gap before the next weekend, stakeholders are expecting a box office collection of Rs 450 million for the three Pakistani films opening on Monday. Star-studded Pakistani films Parey Hut Love, Superstar and Heer Maan Ja will compete for box office glory on approximately 150 screens. Apart from these new releases, Wrong Number 2 is also being re-released on Eid whereas Parvaaz Hai Junoon is expected to hit the big screen, once again, on August 14.
Film-makers, distributors and cinema-owners are looking forward to the audience’s positive response over all three films and have their fingers crossed for even better numbers than this year’s Eidul Fitr.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran, chairman of Pakistan Film Distributors Association said, “We have struggled for years for the revival of the local industry. Last Eid, we had a fantastic response from the public to both local releases [Chhalawa and Wrong No. 2]. This time again, we will hold our ground and come out as a stronger industry.
“He further said, “The huge numbers which local films are drawing at the box office is a ray of hope for Pakistani films not just locally but for their appeal on the international film circuit as well.”
It is pertinent to mention that the production and distribution companies have been actively promoting their films across the country. Casts of all three films have embarked on different promotional tours from Karachi to London, in order to ensure maximum returns not only on the local box office but in the international market as well.
Other stakeholders who chose to remain anonymous were of the opinion that Mahira Khan’s Superstar will lead the pack because of the actor’s massive star power. Maya Khan’s Parey Hut Love will be next demand, keeping in mind her immense fan following on TV dramas. Heer Maan Ja, however, is the least in demand for the stakeholders since the film does not seem to have an X factor for the Eid audience.
It is also fascinating to observe that after a long time, Pakistani box office is solely relying on its leading women to guarantee box office returns, rubbishing the age-old notion of star being a man who can guarantee you returns on investment.
Edited by Haddiqua Siddiqui
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