All about ‘The Donkey King’ — biggest-ever box office hit
The Donkey King, the first-ever animated movie by Geo Films and Talisman Animation Studios, was released countrywide on October 13.
The movie has been produced with utmost expertise for children in Pakistan and those blessed with a childlike heart. It has proved to be great entertaining flick for people of all age groups. Earlier, it was an impression that animated movies are made only for kids, but The Donkey King has dispelled this impression.
From the first day of its release, Geo Films’ first and Pakistan’s biggest animated movie proved to be a great success on the box office, breaking all records of successes and business. That’s why people are calling it the king of animated movies in Pakistan.
Box office records: The latest record made by the film is that it earned about Rs210 million in just seven weeks. Every passing day is bringing a new record. Here’s a summary of the records.
1. The Donkey King is the most successful film which has done great business even in the sixth week, earning Rs12 million.
2. This is the only film of Pakistan which earned more than Rs10 million every week.
3. It made over Rs5 million every Sunday for consecutive six weeks.
4. It set the record of doing more business in the fifth week of its release even compared with all Hollywood, Bollywood and Lollywood movies.
5. The Donkey King is the second most successful movie which did the biggest business even without occurrence of any Eid or any other holidays.
6. The firm’s trailer received 5 million fastest hits on YouTube, which is a record of any Pak film trailer.
7. The trailer has so far been viewed by 5.1 million people.
8. The title song of the movie has proved to be most liked song in the Pakistani film industry, and it was watched for 10 million times during its release.
9. The song has proved to be the most liked song of the year, as it has been viewed for 10.3 million times in just 53 days.
10. It is unique credit of The Donkey King that its popularity has increased every week after its release.
Week-wise details of The Donkey King records: In the first week, The Donkey King broke business records of all animated movies released in the country. It earned Rs27.1 million in just three days.
In the second week, it made Rs38 million.
In the third week, it earned Rs38.1 million and set a record which seems very difficult to be broken by any movie in future.
Till the third week, it had earned collectively more than Rs130 million. It is worth mentioning here that meanwhile Pakistani movies – ‘Jawani Phir Nae Aani; and Parwaz Hay Junoon, Bollywood movies ‘Bazaar’ ‘Andha-Dundh’ ‘Badhaai Ho’ Namastay England, and Hollywood movies were being shown in cinema houses.
In the sixth and seventh weeks, its earning was recorded at Rs2.08 million and Rs2.1 million.
The movie creator, Aziz Jindani said The Donkey King had introduced a new trend in the field of animated movies in Pakistan.
The strongest aspect of The Donkey King is its individuality, local story, impressive language and dialogues in sequence with its characters that remain relevant in the whole film. The apparent subject of the movie is children but it carries a message for adults as well. In this way, the movie is interesting for the people of all age groups.
He said the movie had surpassed all the animated movies produced in Pakistan in the past. This movie has a social message along with comedy, he said.
Afzal Khan (Mangu): Background voice for The Donkey King and superstar of Pakistan film industry Afzal Khan (Jaan Rambo) says ‘Mangu’ is a very interesting character in the movie.
‘Washing machine’ related to Mangu indicates washerman, who dreams of becoming a king. He said it was the first experience of playing a role in an animated film. He said the role was very successful.
He said normally they do dubbing for those actions which they do in feature films or dramas after the film’s screening. But, here the situation was different — they were not supposed to do anything. They were asked to maintain their voice according to the situation of the characters. In other words, they were doing acting with their words.
He said in the beginning, it was worrisome for him as how it would be possible to present his role before the people through voice only, while practically he was not involved in the shooting of the movie.
He said, “Believe me I myself was jumping during the dubbing of the movie, because we were required to utter such voices that might match the impressions of the characters.”
He said even directors lauded his performance and they asked him to continue such performances.
The director continued work for one and a half years for the movie. His Jaan Rambo character was liked first by children and then by the grownups and in this way the character became his introduction. He said still people call him Jaan Rambo.
He said the characters imbibed by the children live in their memory for a long time and now the character of Mangu would be remembered by the children even in their youth.
Hina Dilpazeer (Miss Fitna): Hina Dilpazeer said her character in this movie was more important than her all roles she’d played in different dramas and movies.
She said her role was very close to her heart. She said Aziz Jindani was a talented person who produced the movie that transmitted a big message that was not explained earlier in such a way without hurting feelings of others.
She said the message of the film was more forceful than its story and script.
She said the movie had three superbly committed characters in the form of Rambo, Aziz Jindani and herself.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry: Federal Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the content and graphics of the movie were very fine. He said the comedy carried scenes of running and singing.
He said it was a good experiment of such a movie in the country. He expressed his good wishes for this novel effort. He said in future this effort would bring move innovation in this field.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari praised the film, saying it had political satire and an entertainment element in it.
Sh Rashid Ahmed: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said the movies was undoubtedly a masterpiece.
“This film is for everyone from every walk of life. I came here to watch a movie after a gap of 25-30 years. The songs and humour of this film are marvelous”.
Farooq Sattar: Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Farooq Sattar said while watching The Donkey King, he was trying to find himself in the characters of the film.
There is a difference between getting the responsibility and fulfilling it. The production of Geo and its team is outstanding.
Abdul Aleem Khan: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said the film was an excellent effort. “I congratulate the entire team of Geo.”
Satish Anand (Chairman Eveready Pictures):
Eveready Pictures Chairman Satish Anand said The Donkey King had become an emblem of unbelievable and superb performances. “I predicted that this film will break the records, but I did not imagine that it will break the records with such massiveness.”
Javed Jabbar: Former information minister Javed Jabbar said The Donkey King was an interesting film.
“The film has been made on a good topic in a constructive and humorous manner. For the first time, a film is made on a political and social topic. This film gives the lesson of bringing the imagination closer to the reality. I congratulate its entire team.”
Shoaib Mansoor: Director and filmmaker Shoaib Mansoor said creation of The Donkey King was an outstanding work.
“I am amazed to see such masterpiece being made in Pakistan. The film is beyond my expectations. I congratulate the entire team of the film.”
Ahsan Rahim: Filmmaker Ahsan Rahim said that the film is powerful in its story as it has all essentials of a big film in it unlike other animated films, made in the past. It was an incredible movie.
Syed Noor: Filmmaker and director Syed Noor said that good movies like The Donkey King should be made in future as well to bring more entertainment to people. “I liked the quality of its animation and dubbing. A new cinema has begun in Pakistan.”
Humayun Saeed: Film Director Humayun Saeed said the script, dialogues and screenplay of the film were marvelous. Children need entertainment and such films should be made for them.
“Now such films are being made in Pakistan which is a good omen. I congratulate the film’s writer, director and the entire team of Geo.”
Nadeem Mandviwala: Chief Executive Officer Atrium Karachi and Centaurus Islamabad Nadeem Mandviwala said they had showcased 14 shows of the film since the third week of its release and all of them were houseful.
“The film is so in demand that we have to close the shows of other films and open 4-5 shows of The Donkey King on the weekends. I have never seen a better movie than this. Children’s love with the character Mangu and appraisal of main plot, comedy and entertainment factors of the movie by the parents is worthy to be noted. Everyone is admiring this movie,” he added.
Besides children, adults are also coming to cinemas to watch the movie because of the message and element of humour in it.
Farrukh Rauf: Capri Cinema Director Farrukh Rauf said the story, songs and animation of the film were superb. It is only animated film in the cinema’s history that is doing a great business week after week.
The 12 Anna seats, which were occupied by the common people or students in the past and families shunned them, are being used to seat families.
Shah Mir Yahya: Universal Cinemas MD Shah Mir Yahya said The Donkey King had surpassed all animated films in just three weeks. It will earn more with the passage of time. It may hit cinemas in India and could continue to do business in the next year.
Kamran Yar Khan: Newplex, Media and Programming head Kamran Yar Khan said long queues for tickets outside the cinemas prove it is an excellent film. It has already proved to be the most successful film of Pakistan. It deals with political satire in a brilliant way.
Hamid Mir (Senior journalist, analyst and anchor): I congratulate the filmmakers. It reminds me of my mother who called me “khota” (donkey) in my childhood. She would have been pleased to watch the film. I advise mothers to take their children to the movie, so that they could realise that even a donkey can become a king. The film has great entertainment and messages. Some double speaks have been narrated in a subtle way. It highlights a positive role of a TV channel in hard times on the nation. It also shows donkeys can come to power if they unite. The lion is released from jail in the end and the donkey makes him partner to the government. The film gives a message of national solidarity, which Pakistan needs badly.
Shahzeb Khanzada (Senior journalist, analyst and anchor): All should watch the film. It is a great concept; its execution is also tremendous. The film contains content, art, irony, satire and all recipes required for a good film. It shows dreams are achievable, if a dedicated struggle is made for them.
Suhail Warraich (Senior journalist, analyst and anchor): In the days to come, this film will be referred to in the discussions of democracy, politics and governance style. It has a content-based story, and in future also content-based film and dramas should be produced.
It’s heartening to note that this movie has all elements including content, fun, irony, satire, which a good movie should have to prove to be a good film. This movie is being enjoyed by both children and adults. This film is going to be a torchbearer for Pakistani film industry. The dreams presented in the movie are achievable. Good dreams are viral for establishing a good society. People should have dreams and work hard to make them come true.
Kamran Khan (Senior journalist, analyst and anchor): It is an amazing film. It has a good script and fine production. It is great entertainment. I enjoyed it very much.
Waseem Akram: It is a super-hit film that tells us that even a donkey can be the man of the match in its own being.
Shoaib Akhtar: Geo will do great and good, whatever it undertakes a job. The film is its proof. It is hard to believe that Pakistan has produced such a film. Its characters and voice-overs are tremendous. I salute all people involved in it.
Dr Maryam Chughtai (Associate dean, education department, LUMS): It a great mixture of art and education. It has a message and provokes thoughts. It was rumoured to target a political party, but I have not noticed it. It is a good commentary on Pakistan’s political affairs. I congratulate the filmmakers.
Shahzad Roy (Educationist, social worker): Our children have no stories in Urdu, Sindhi and Pashtu and I believe the film will greatly contribute to it. We have no books to educate children but such films can make amends. It is a great contribution of Geo Films to the cause of children.
Ameena Syed (Educationist, Oxford University Press MD): It is Geo’s first and Pakistan’s biggest animated movie. It has great and interesting content and I suggest it should appear in a book form.
Teachers’ reaction: The film provides education and fun and more movies like it should be made. It is for every age group people. All people enjoy it.