Pakistani Showbiz

Furious 7 gets highest first-week collection in Pakistan

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Hollywood movie Furious 7 seems to have shifted into fifth gear at the Pakistani box office as it recorded the highest first-week opening for any movie in Pakistan.

The seventh installment in the immensely popular Fast & Furiousfranchise has gone onto earn around Rs123 million  in its opening week; thus, matching Dhoom 3’s record for the highest opening week collections.

FootPrint (Pvt) Ltd, the distributors of the film in Pakistan, didn’t expect such an ‘overwhelming’ response in the country.

After earning Rs70.25 million during its opening weekend things were expected to slow down but the film seems to be continuing at the same pace with the movie going on to earn an additional Rs50.1 million on weekdays.

Proving to be one of the highest-grossing films in the history of the Pakistani box office, the movie has earned an estimated Rs10.75 million just from screenings at Nueplex Cinemas in Karachi but according Mirza Saad Baig, general manager of FootPrint (Pvt) Ltd, the film has raked most of its collections from the Punjab circuit.

“The Punjab circuit has proven to be the most successful for the film because of the number of screens over there,” said Baig.

Despite this, Baig believes that the film may be a ‘one-off success’ considering the various factors at the time of its release.

“Several things helped the movie become a huge success in Pakistan. Firstly, because Fast & Furious is such a huge brand and secondly because the movie was released at a time when there was no other major release,” stated Baig.

The success of Furious 7 also highlights the box-office potential for Hollywood movies in Pakistan. “Hollywood movies have played a major role in reviving the fortunes of Pakistani cinemas. Before Indian films were being imported to Pakistan, cinemas were mainly playing Hollywood movies,” remarked Baig.

Director of Waar, Bilal Lashari believes that the success of a Hollywood film in Pakistan was a good sign for an industry still finding its feet. “With Furious 7’s success, local filmmakers would now also aspire to have a more Hollywood approach towards filmmaking and will break away from the Bollywood clichés,” said Lashari.

He added that the cinema going audience of Pakistan was now ‘more urban’ compared to that of yesteryears and larger-than-life Hollywood blockbusters like Furious 7 were bound to do well in the country.

But not all of them were of the same opinion, as many of them say that Pakistan has always been a lucrative market for Hollywood movies.

Chief Executive Officer of ARY Network Jerjees Seja noted that the country’s audience has always been at pace with global trends and that the success of Furious 7 should not be viewed as something out of the blue.

He believed that the release of no major films during this window played in the film’s favour, “Jalaibee had already completed its two-week long opening run and no prominent Bollywood film was releasing at that time, which seems to have benefited Furious 7.” said Seja.

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