Pakistani cinema industry has gone through a tremendous downfall, post Bollywood ban. After the situation between India and Pakistan intensified on the Kashmir issue; cinema union decided to support men on the border by banning Indian content. However, in the midst of all, a question had been tumouring in everybody’s mind that; “Will Pakistani Cinema Be Able To Survive Without Bollywood?” It seems that we might be getting the answer to the never ending web of questions.
To nobody’s doubt, Pakistani cinema is undergoing an existential crises, PKR 22 billion invested in the sector has come to a pit stop, resulting in footfall of the cinemas around the country by 60%. The excitement and eagerness that had been growing amongst the audience to visit cinemas has halted; concluding to the regional films losing their money.
Coming to the box office collection of Pakistani movies sans Bollywood; Abdullah made PKR 2 million; Lahore Say Aagy, a potential 300 million business, earned only 70 million; Dobara Phir Say, a potential 250 million box office collection, made only PKR 65 million.
At the rate producers are investing money and the amount they are getting in return, Pakistani cinema will never be able to work in profitable margins. In 2016, for the first time since 1970, 18 Pakistani films were released, however with high cinema costs these films were unable to generate their intended revenue.
This isn’t it; about 1700 employees have been fired in November 2016, leaving 25,000 families at risk due to further closures in January. Cinemas are unable to pay their rent and utilities, 40 per cent multiplex screens have shut down, 33 per cent shows a day have been reduced and cinema industry’s major exhibitors are facing Rs. 600m loss per month.
In a nut shell, the only thing that stems out of avid cinema goer’s mind is that, “Are we going to lose our cinema industry to the unwanted clash of territory, between the arch-rivals?”