THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > LIFE & STYLE > TV & FILM EID BOX OFFICE: ‘Yalghaar' leads the pack with 'Mehrunnisa' inching closer -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > LIFE & STYLE > TV & FILM EID BOX OFFICE: ‘Yalghaar’ leads the pack with ‘Mehrunnisa’ inching closer

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI  :This Eid saw two local film releases, Yalghaar andMehrunissa V Lub U, alongside four international films, namely Transformers: The Last Knight, Despicable Me 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baby Driver. Just like last Eidul Azha, local films did not have to compete with any Indian films but even with the four foreign releases, Yalghaar and Mehrunissa dominated the box office.

Leading the pack is Yalghaar. The war epic collected Rs17.5 million on the first day of Eid and Rs24 million on the second day. Nasar Khan, PR & Publications associate manager at HUM Network, local distributors of Yalghaar, confirmed the numbers. “These numbers are accurate. We are still calculating the third day box office numbers but Yalghaar has had the second biggest opening of 2017, after Fast 8. We are expecting the third day collection to be above 40 million to round it off to 60 million for the three-day total,” he said. “We have also received positive media coverage in the US and hoping for things to pick up more soon.”

Mehrunissa, on the other hand, collected 11 million on the first day and picked up to 17.5 million on the second. The local distributor, Urdu1, was not available for confirmation. However, cinema owners’ comments tell a similar story. Atrium Cinemas managing director Nadeem Mandviwalla said Mehrunissa was performing well in Karachi, while Yalghaar was doing better in the North. “Both local films have been doing great business. If we look at the announced numbers, we had a nearly 50 million business out of two local films, which is amazing,” he said.

And it must be noted that there was no Salman Khan film this Eid, which would have upped the overall numbers but perhaps taken a toll on Yalghaar and Mehrunissa’s performances. “This means our local market is growing,” said Mandviwalla. He added that even Pirates of the Caribbean and Despicable Me were doing well. “The biggest surprise has been Transformers’ underwhelming numbers. It’s a huge franchise and it’s a new release whereas Pirates was released a couple weeks ago internationally and yet, its numbers are strong.”

Super Cinemas general manager Khorem Gultasab echoed the sentiments. “We gave 48% shows to Yalghaar and 43% to Mehrunissa at our cinemas, providing them the maximum space to prove themselves. And they did,” he said. “Yalghaar has been consistently getting 99% occupancy, while Mehrunissa has been getting 95 or 96% occupancy on multiplexes and 80% on single screens.”

Gultasab said Yalghaar attracted a mainly young crowd enthusiastic for an action film experience whereas Mehrunissa brought in more families, women in particular. “I would say Yalghaar’s biggest success was reigniting the nationalistic sense in our youth. I saw people chanting Pakistan Zindabad as they walked out of the cinemas. On the other hand, Mehrunissa brought a lot of happiness. I was in the theatre watching the people and everybody had a smile on their faces.”

It must, however, be noted that no film this Eid has done well enough to break records. With word of mouth playing a very important role, we have yet to see where the two locals will stand after the first weekend.

Gultasab stated, “This weekend will be a litmus test for the films. It will be very important in deciding their future because in the first three days of Eid, everybody comes out to watch films, especially those who probably only visit cinemas on Eid. But regular cinemagoers decide to wait to skip the rush and come out on weekends. So, we will see which film maintains the numbers and which one drops.”
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