KARACHI: Four Pakistani films, namely Rangreza, Arth – The Destination, Chupan Chupai and Parchi have released during this winter. While the first three released in 2017, Parchi marked the first film of this year and according to their local distributors, it has been performing better than all winter releases so far. The film collected nearly Rs 30 million in the first three days of screening.
#Parchi off to a smashing start at the Box Office in Pakistan and collects 3 Crores in just 3 Days! #Parchi is currently running houseful in Pakistan and is set to release in USA, UAE & Canada on the 12th of Jan 2017, in France and UK on the 19th of Jan 2018. #ParchiWinningHearts #ParchiTakesOver #ParchiWillBlowYourMind #DaewooExpress @imranrazakazmi @jerjeesseja @lakhani_arif_ca @alirehmankhan @hareemfarooq @theusmanmukhtar @ahmedaliakbarofficial @shafqee @thetalaljilani @mojizhasan @mfaizansk @faizasaleem90 @mahenurhaider @salmaanshaukat
Speaking to The Express Tribune, marketing vice president at ARY said, “It opened on Friday with Rs9.4 million and till Sunday, it had touched Rs30 million. It’s a good start considering the performance of recently released films.”
He added that while they can only comment on the film’s overall expected earnings as the week progresses, they were expecting to touch Rs375 to Rs500 million in its first week. He also stated that the team is very content with the film’s performance on the box office. “Business usually drops during weekdays but the opening was good, considering the occupancy was low this season, except Chupan Chupai.”
The cinema-owners’ views matched the distributors’ figures too. The first three days brought in large crowds. Nueplex director of media and marketing Kamran Yar Khan cited above 80% occupancy during the opening weekend. “Of course, it will naturally drop 20-30% this week but it’s doing very well for a non-holiday release. It has attracted a bigger crowd than all winter film releases so far,” he said. Adding that combined with Insidious: The Last Key and Jumanji (which came in second and third spot in terms of occupancy), Khan also added that business in 2018 was off to a good start.
When questioned on the distribution and release of Pakistani films in the country, Khan said, “I think we are putting too much pressure on Pakistani film industry. There is a mad rush to produce more films and that’s resulting in weaker content being put out. We should go through the process in an organic manner rather than forcing it. Give it a decade and let it grow. Right now, everybody is in the learning process.”
Meanwhile, reports out of Lahore tell a somewhat similar story. Super Cinemas general manager Khorem Gultasab said the film had more than 50% occupancy on the weekend and even higher in the night shows. However, he also explained, “Parchi did have a considerable drop on Monday, as it was the first working day after holidays and schools and colleges resumed. Average occupancy for Monday was 30%.” Adding on how well the film is doing, he added, “I feel it might collect Rs3.5 to Rs4.5 million per day this week as opposed to approximately Rs10 million per day over the weekend.”
As opposed to Khan’s statement on the Pakistani film industry, Gultasab believed that both veterans and newcomers displayed inadequate proficiency in film-making and that film-makers need to stop treating cinemas as laboratories to test their products. He further added, “This is serious business with very high fixed operational costs. All said and done, I believe that everyone has learnt enough lessons during the preceding years. I have a gut feeling that 2018 is a dawn of better times for all stakeholders.”
While this season defied expectations and didn’t bring in a lot of business, Parchi’s relatively better box office numbers made sure 2018 had a good start for cinema-owners.
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