While the tragic loss of lives from a shooting incident during the screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Colarado took the whole world by shock, the film has given its Pakistani fans a fair share of drama and suspense as limited tickets are being sold for sneak previews.
With distributors reinventing the trend of cinema sneak previews in Pakistan, more than 50% of The Dark Knight Rises pre-release shows have sold out both at Atrium Cinema in Karachi and Cinestar Cinema in Lahore. While this obsession with the film was unexpected in Pakistan, the queues for tickets show no signs of getting shorter and it is predicted that all sneak preview tickets will be sold out over the weekend.
“I have been standing in the queue at Lahore Cinestar since 10am and I got my passes at 1pm,” Noman Ansari, an avid movie buff told The Express Tribune.
On the other hand, Mandviwalla Entertainment, the local distributors of the film in Pakistan, is overwhelmed by the business.
“More than the people, it is the private corporations who are getting bookings in bulk amounts and making new offers to their customers,” Asim Qureshi, the CEO of Brand TV and Cinema, exclusive marketer of Atrium told The Express Tribune.
Qureshi said that sneak previews are a relatively new concept in Pakistan, where tickets for exclusive previews are sold at a higher price. The regular ticket for The Dark Knight Rises is priced at Rs350, whereas the sneak previews are being sold at Rs750 each.
“We never thought that the sneak preview will have such great business and that too, in Ramazan,” says Qureshi. “This speaks for the massive power of cinema a source of entertainment.” The Dark Knight Rises is by far the most anticipated film of 2012 and perhaps the biggest of this summer. The film will officially release in Pakistan on Eid, while it released worldwide on July 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2012.