Box-office showdown: Trouble reaching the finish line?
The massive number of releases slated for this year seems like a giant leap for the nascent film industry in Pakistan, but only time will tell if these local productions will manage to stand neck-and-neck with Bollywood’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
In the wake of the major upcoming local releases, it comes as a disappointment that a number of anticipated local films will not see the light of day this Eid due to factors, such as delayed production and post-production. Among these films are Syed Noor’s Bhai Wanted, Parvez Rana’s Dushman Rani, Shahzad Rafique’s Salute, Saqib Siddiqui and Noor’s Ishq Positive, Agha Hassan Askari’s Bad Boys and Shahzad Haider’s Khushi. These films are now slated to release on Eidul Azha.
Of the delay in Dushman Rani’s release, Rana told The Express Tribune, “I was waiting for Nargis to arrive in Pakistan for many weeks so that we could start the shooting of the film. I had made all the arrangements as well but we couldn’t pursue it.” Lamenting that Eidul Fitr would’ve been ideal for the movie’s release, as only two Punjabi films will be screened this time, he adds, “It would’ve been an opportunity for Nargis to dominate cinemas once again with the success of her film.” He shares that the film will hit the floors soon after Eid.
Wali Hamid Ali Khan of the Raga Boyz, who will make his acting debut with a lead role in Ishq Positive alongside Noor, talks about the upcoming film. “Initially, Ishq Positive was being directed by Sangeeta but she left the project. This is the reason why the filming wasn’t completed. Saqib Siddiqui and Noor have taken the director’s chair now and shooting will recommence this week,” he explained. He revealed that the film will be shot in Northern areas of Pakistan and is expected to release on Eidul Azha.
Syed Noor revealed that the change in the script of Bhai Wanted caused the delay in the project, and he plans on beginning the shoot again. Even the film Salute won’t make it to the screens this Eid due to incomplete filming.
The Salman Khan-starrer is expected to be the biggest competitor at the local box office as the superstar has been known to give consistent hits on Eid over the past few years. Many cinema owners see Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Bin Roye in the running for successful stints at the box office.
While many directors are currently undergoing the post-production phase, others, whose projects are ready, have been promoting their upcoming projects. Not only are their casts and crews enthusiastic, but cinema owners are also gearing up for the season by renovating cinemas in order to garner a good response. The five Urdu films local audiences can watch this season include Yasir Nawaz’s Wrong No, Momina Duraid’s Bin Roye, Kamran Akbar Khan’s Halla Gulla, Aasma Butt’sFikar Not and Liaqat Ali Khan’s Bazaar. The Punjabi films to be screened are Shahid Rana’s Razia Phans Gai Gundoun Main and Hanif Joya’s Gunahghar.