Karachi: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees and Hrithik Roshan-starrer Kaabil are likely to hit theaters in Pakistan on Monday after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif finally signed the summary/policy prepared by a special committee on release of Bollywood films in Pakistan. An official source in the ministry of information confirmed to PTI that the summary had been signed by the PM.
“Under the policy once a film is imported the distributor will have it reviewed by the ministry of information and central censor board before it is released in cinema halls,” a source said.
He said in all probability the latest Indian films would be available for cine-goers all over the country from Monday. The Shah Rukh and Mahira Khan-starrer Raees has created lot of interest and hype in Pakistan where no latest Indian film has been released since last September when relations between the two countries deteriorated after the Uri incident.
Hum Films, a subsidiary of the Hum entertainment channel, has brought the rights to release Raees and Kaabil in Pakistan. Both the films hit theatres in India on January 25. Cinema owners in the meantime are surviving on screening of old Indian films including Salman Khan”s Dabangg, Housefull, Freaky Ali and Baar Baar Dekho after various cinema owners decided to start screening Indian films again but couldn’t get NOCs for release of latest films.
The Pakistani cinema owners had themselves voluntarily decided to suspend screening of Indian films after Pakistani actors were stopped from performing in India last September. While Pakistani cinema owners are looking forward to release latest Indian films like “Dangal”, “Raees” and “Kaabil” to recoup their losses, they are worried that illegal screening of these films through pirated DVDs could lead to major box office losses.
Khorem Gultasab, who is the GM of Super Cinemas in Pakistan, said that if a film misses its first weekend, the occupancy automatically drops below 50 per cent because people find alternative ways to watch it.
“Now, if it’s also playing on television, it’s definitely going to affect the business even more.’ Atrium Cinemas managing director Nadeem Mandviwalla feels the situation is nothing new. “Of course, the business is going to be affected, but it already happens anyway because of the DVD shops selling pirated versions of films,” he said.