The popularity of Indian Bollywood films among Pakistani viewers is beyond anyones imagination. Regardless of the political situation with neighboring India, Indian Bollywood films always perform well in Pakistan. It clearly shows that Pakistani viewers keep politics separate from arts and entertainment which perhaps also is the right approach.
The business of Bollywood films is flourishing every year. This year in July, Bollywood Bajrangi Bhaijan made the record of highest opening weekend earning for a Bollywood film in Pakistan. However in just six months time the Bollywood enthusiasts have poured in cinemas in even greater numbers to watch Bollywood Dilwale released on 18th December 2015.
As per English daily Express Tribune,Dilwale has earned 6 crore rupees on its opening weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) which is a new record for a Bollywood film on Pakistani box office. With a extended upcoming weekend due to the holidays of 12 Rabiul Awwal and 25th December, Dilwale is expected to continue this trend.
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With no major Pakistani film seeing a release since the dawn of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, the local box office seemed to have eased into slumber. But this changed with the arrival of two major Indian productions — Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani.
A head-to-head comparison indicates Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani has raked in only one fourth of what the Rohit Shetty film Dilwale managed to earn. But distributors, who were earlier expecting the competition to be entirely one-sided, feel Deepika Padukone’s film has been able to put up a steady fight against the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer.
Distribution Club executive director Abid Rasheed, whose company imported Bajirao Mastani, said the film has so far earned Rs21 million and that its earnings rose after the opening day. “Positive word-of-mouth helped generate audience interest in the movie. And with holidays coming up in the next few days, you can expect the film to put on an even more improved display at the box office,” said Rasheed.
Prior to the release of both movies, Dilwale was already in the pole position since the advance booking ratio for Dilwale to Bajirao Mastani was 10:1. Rasheed, however, argued that Bajirao Mastani was released on only 70 screens as compared to Dilwale’s 85 plus screens.
Dilwale, whose team left no stone unturned in promoting the film in Pakistan, earned in excess of Rs60 million during its first three days. An official for Eveready Pictures revealed that the collections for the opening two days were Rs21.3 million and Rs23 million respectively.
Although multiplexes contributed the most to Dilwale’s kitty, the film performed impressively at single-screen cinemas as well. Farrukh Rauf, director of Capri Cinema, stated that where Dilwale has recorded full houses, attendance for Bajirao Mastani has been ‘below par’.
While Indian movies usually tend to last only a week at single-screen cinemas, Dilwale’s impressive performance has already convinced Rauf to give it an extended run. “We have the Christmas holidays and a long weekend coming up, so the next week is looking even better for Dilwale,” he added.
Rashid Nazir Ali