KARACHI: With three major releases on August 12, expectations were that cine-goers would flock to theatres in big numbers.
Akshay Kumar’s Rustom mustered up a lot of support from the Bollywood community, giving it a major boost. On the other hand, Ashutosh Gowarikar’s epic Mohenjo Daro has had an underwhelming support even before it released, with accusations of historical inaccuracies. The most anticipated release of them all, DC’s Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer, got busted for its mediocre storytelling, yet tops the global box office, despite largely negative reviews.
In Pakistan, the case isn’t totally different altogether. According to Sabina Islam, marketing and media manager at IMGC Entertainment, local distributors of the Bollywood films, Mohenjo Daro and Rustom have both grossed Rs20 million so far.
Given Mohenjo Daro’s underwhelming response, the film is not expected to do well in the coming weeks as well. However, Rustom is expected to do better than the former. “Mohenjo Daro has not performed well, and is only expected to collect around Rs40 to Rs50 million, whereas Rustom can go up to Rs70-80 million,” added Islam.
According to multiple exhibitors, the Hrithik Roshan film has had a major decline in business right from the get-go.
Super Cinemas General Manager Khorem Gultasab told The Express Tribune, “Mohenjo Daro had a significant drop. It did okay on the first day but it dropped big time. Rustom is doing well. Then there was the Independence Day on Sunday which affected the business a lot in Lahore. Most families stayed at home given the traffic jams and the chaotic situation.”
Atrium Cinemas Managing Director Nadeem Mandviwala stated, “Mohenjo Daro is a flop. Its average occupancy in the last four days has been 66% while Rustom and Suicide Squad have about 75% occupancy.”
Despite negative reactions, fans of DC comics are still paying big money to watch Suicide Squad. “Suicide Squad is performing great, with approximately 75% occupancy. Then there’s Rustom which comes at around 60-68%. Mohenjo Daro has done below expectations. Its average occupancy is at 38%. I think it’s safe to say that Suicide Squad is dominating the slate,” shared Cinepax Programming Manager Ahad Ali Khan. “As there is not much competition in the coming weeks, with only two new releases, Suicide Squad will continue its run,” he added.
It remains clear that Suicide Squad is outperforming both the Indian releases. HKC Entertainment Managing Director Hammad Choudhary, the local distributor of the DC film, said, “It’s performing as well as we expected. The reviews don’t matter. The youth that go to watch this film have already decided what they want to watch. It was the same with Batman v Superman and it’s the same now.”
Choudhary, however, refused to reveal figures, saying, “I can’t reveal the numbers as it is confidential. But I can assure you that Suicide Squad is the number one film at the box office in Pakistan.”