KARACHI: If pre-eid predictions were to be believed, the Pakistani box office was supposedly heading towards a box office photo finish with not two but three films going neck-t0-neck against each other in the form of the Indian release Bang Bang and the concurrent Pakistani releases in Operation 021 and Na Maloom Afraad.
But sadly that was not the case as for all the hype and expectation surrounding the release of the Shaan-starrer Operation 021, the film has not received the opening that it was expected to.
The Bollywood release Bang Bang, starring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, seems to be ruling the roost after raking in Rs 7,553,196 (Approximately Rs7.6 million) on day one of Eidul Azha. These figures take the total collections of Hrithik starrer to Rs35 million in Pakistan as it has been screening in cinemas since last Thursday.
Not far behind are Nabeel Qureshi’s Na Maloom Afraad and Jami’s spy thriller Operation 021, which grossed Rs 5,598,125 (Approximately Rs5.5 million) each on their opening day. Though these figures can be considered respectable, they come as a major surprise considering that Waar, another Shaan-starrer, had earned an estimated Rs11 million on it’s opening day on Eidul Azha last year despite facing stiff competition from a major Bollywood release in the form of the Akshay Kumar’s Boss.
However, Na Maloom Afraad is the real game-changer here as the film has literally shaken up the box office by coming neck-to-neck with Operation 021. It started off as being a film heavily dependent upon the footfall in multiplexes but the housefulls at multiplexes suggest that it is slowly starting to get its specific audience.
The comedy film released under the banner of Filmwala Pictures has exceeded expectations and collected Rs4.5 million; thus, making this triple threat at the Pakistani box office more interesting.
Though what the producers of Na Maloom Afraad should be really excited about is the fact that single-screen cinema owners are opting to screen the comedy in place of Operation 021. A major reason for this change can be attributed to the comic content of the film compared to the action-thriller which is predominantly in English, causing a language barrier for the average cinema going audience.
According to sources, multiplex owners are also showing more interest in giving preference to the comedy film but are unable to do so due to advance bookings for Operation 021.
Last but not the least is Fawad Khan’s Khoobsurat that was released on a very limited number of screens and yet managed to generate Rs1.2 million on the first day of Eid.
Having said that, the second day of Eid is expected to be stronger in numbers as most of the people were busy sacrificing animals on the first day.