Karachi, October 25 (NIA): The ban imposed on each other by the Indian and Pakistani film industries will hurt the film industries in both countries. While Pakistan is the third largest overseas market for Bollywood films, Pakistani theaters get 50 to 60 percent of their income from showing Bollywood films.
Speaking to Dawn Images, Khorem Gultasab, General Manager of SuperCinema, Lahore, said that Pakistani cinemas cannot survive on Pakistani films alone.
“There are 52 weeks in a year. The lifespan of any film is 1 week, a blockbuster, 2 weeks. There were a total of 15 Pakistani films released last year. This year so far there have been 6, of which only 3 worked, the others flopped. Even if you double the amount of each film’s run-time with the few films released, you’re still left with 40-42 weeks of empty screens. What will cinemas do for those weeks?” he wondered.
Like many, Gultasab too hopes the ban is lifted soon.
“Pakistan and India are neighbors, and they will be, they are not going away anywhere. If they cannot be friends, they need to learn to co-exist,” he said.
Sharing similar sentiments, Nadeem Mandviwalla, owner of Atrium cinema, Karachi, and Centaurus cinema, calls the resolution passed by the Indian producers “very immature and unethical.”
“The trade association is supposed to improve relations, not destroy them,” Mandviwalla argued, stating that the current Pak-India relations are very delicate, and should not be inflamed at such a time, especially by trade associations.
Speaking of the suspension in the long-run, he says, “It will hurt them, it will hurt us. It will hurt legitimate business stake holders. The winner is the pirate.”
Although he reveals there has been no decrease in footfall in cinemas yet, if the suspension is prolonged, it’ll result in “hurting cinemas here”, due to which he urges that “sanity should prevail”.
Mohsin Yaseen of Cinepax (Karachi) management echoed the same sentiments with regards to footfall. Customers are still breezing in through the doors to watch local and Hollywood films.
Bollywood flicks PINK, Baar Baar Dekho and Mohenjo Daro were playing at Cinepax last, before they were removed. All other Hindi films like Mirzya (October 7) and Shivaay (October 28), which will be released subsequently, will not be screened at Cinepax, Yaseen says.
Although it’s too early to judge footfall in less than a week of the suspension, in the long run it might take a toll.
Even as Karan Johar prepares for the nationwide release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis brokered peace between the filmmaker and MNS on Saturday, trouble continues to brew for the film, Indian Express reported.
The Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) on Monday said they will continue their call for a boycott of the film by their members.
The association’s President, Nitin Datar, said that the boycott followed a silence on part of the Pakistani actors towards the terror attacks.
“They haven’t condemned Uri attack, and Pakistan has banned the release of Indian films. So why should we promote Pakistani artists?”