Bollywood scripts huge success at Pak box office
Bharati Dubey, TNN | Jan 22, 2012, 12.41AM IST Bharati Dubey The writer has posted comments on this article
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Aamir Khan's '3 Idiots' collected Rs 5 crore in Pakistan.
MUMBAI: The three Khans of Bollywood not only rule the Indian box-office, they are also the kings of Pakistan. Aamir Khan's 3 IdiotsMy Name Is KhanBodyguard outdid them both by earning Rs 6 crore. Another Shah Rukh-starrer, Don2, meanwhile, is expected to pull in Rs 7.25 crore. In fact, some experts say pakistan is now one of Bollywood's top five overseas markets and could soon rival the business done in Australia.
collected Rs 5 crore across the border and the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer raked in Rs 5.25 crore. The Salman Khan-starrer
The ban on Indian films was lifted across the border in 2006, but things began really hotting up a year later., a well-known distributor in Pakistan, said, "From the time the market opened up in 2007, Indian films became the source for rebuilding cinema in the country. Within just four years, the entertainment business grew by 300% at the box office."
Bollywood can't ignore Pakistan now as an overseas market. Trade pundits said the business pattern in Pakistan is similar to that of the Punjab territory in India.
When the ban was lifted, the John Abraham-starrer 'Goal' was the first new Indian release to open there in November 2007.
It released with seven prints, but within two years the print run of multiplied thrice over. '3 Idiots', released in 2009, was shown on 22 screens. 'Don 2', released in 2011, had 38 screens. Currently, there are about 80 cinema halls there and trade pundits say another 20 could be added in two years.
About 50 Hindi films release in Pakistan now every year and the big ones have the ability to do business of US $1 million (Rs 4 crore to 5 crore) or more, said Pakistani sources. All the top Khan films are sold for $200,000 to $300,000 (Rs 1 crore to 1.5 crore). Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar films go for $75,000 to $150,000 (Rs 37.5 lakh to 75 lakh), said experts.
India-based Amrita Pandey, of UTV Motion Pictures, said, "I think the growth has been significant -- from no release before 2007 to now, where the box office gross for an average film is $400,000 (Rs 2 crore). With 50 Hindi films releasing there every year, Pakistan figures in the top five of the international markets."
Siddiqi added, "India has six territories and Pakistan has two, Sindh and Baluchistan is one and Punjab and Frontier the other. The growth of cinema at the moment remains in Sindh and Punjab only. Around 60% of the cinemas remain in Punjab, like in south India."