Pakistani Showbiz

Furious 7 rushes to the top of the local box office

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With the biggest opening weekend at the box office in its initial three days screening, Fast & Furious 7 has raced far ahead of its competitors and is likely to maintain its position in the ongoing chase. The highest Hollywood weekend grosser in Pakistan is simultaneously being screened at multiple locations nationwide.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, General Manager of FootPrint (Pvt) ltd the distributor of the film, Mirza Saad Baig said the movie had a remarkable opening by collecting a grand sum of Rs72.5 million in three days, with around Rs45 million on Friday and Saturday alone.

According to Assistant Marketing Manager of Cinepax Cinemas Abid Ali Zaidi, the film is being screened at 36 locations across Pakistan. “Judging by the response we have seen in the opening few days, we are expecting the film to finish within a bracket of Rs180 – 200 million, alongside popular Indian films like PK and Dhoom 3,” said Zaidi. With this current trend, the movie with Paul Walker’s final appearance is expected to be the highest grossing Hollywood movie at the Pakistani box office.

However, it is surprising to note that the film is not being screened at Atrium cinemas and Centaurus Cineplex and thus, the above mentioned figure excludes these two locations.

The film has received an overwhelming response both on multiplexes and single-screen cinemas, so far. Director Capri Cinema Farrukh Rauf termed the performance of the film as ‘unprecedented’, saying he has never seen a Hollywood film do so well in Pakistani cinemas before. He further added that over the course of the weekend, Capri Cinema had recorded a turnout of almost 13,000 people across all the Fast & Furious 7 shows. “We had 12 shows for Fast & Furious 7 this weekend, of which five were completely sold out, whereas the remaining seven shows were close to a full house,” said Rauf.

“The movie is on its way to become one of the biggest films of 2015 in Pakistani cinemas. The last few months were a lean period because of the World Cup with no major Indian releases during that period, due to which Roy, which was expected to do well, turned out to be a disappointment at the box office,” he added.

Although the coming few days might notice a decline in revenue, Rauf still believes that the film has done enough to acquire a longer run on screens. He said, “Weekdays are generally slower for cinemas; despite this, I think due to its successful opening, we may run the film for two weeks compared to the one-week run we usually give to movies.”

Sheikh Adeel Imtiaz, owner of Bambino Cinema, believes that the movie seems to be benefiting from a variety of factors one of it being the late Walker’s final appearance in the Fast and Furious franchise. “The movie has everything; action, fast cars and above all Paul Walker’s last appearance and that seems to have worked in favour of the movie’s box office progress. Previous movies in the franchise have done well in Pakistan but none of them have done this great,” he said.

Imtiaz remarked that regardless of being released during the Easter weekend, the movie has managed to do well in his cinemas. “The first two days saw a relatively lower turnout in comparison to Sunday as it was Easter and most  of the roads leading up to the cinema were blocked due to a church located in the same vicinity,” he told.

Fast & Furious 7 was released in cinemas across the world on April 3. It has collected $384 million worldwide, so far, of which $143.6 million have come from domestic audiences, making it the highest opening weekend in April, reported The Verge.

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