After a considerable drop in footfalls to its cinema houses, Pakistan revoked its ban on Indian films a week ago. However, a report in their leading newspaper Dawn claims there are no signs of the Indian blockbuster ‘Dangal’ being screened in Pakistan, inspite of it opening in India and internationally last week.
Stating that Aamir Khan has a huge fan-following in Pakistan, the report says that the release of his latest project in this country would have earned him and his producers a decent amount, especially bearing in mind the kind of roaring business that Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’ did in Pakistan.
The paper has quoted Anita Kenneth, the head of marketing at Atrium Cinema in Pakistan saying, “We have not received anything from them (India). There’s no news from their side (regarding Dangal).” Mohsin Yaseen, marketing general manager at Pak’s cinema exhibitor chain Cinepax says, “As far as I know, Indian distributors have not struck a deal in Pakistan for Dangal.”
Senior film-maker Syed Noor told the paper that film exhibitors in Pak were earlier “cribbing that people were not coming to cinemas (after the ban on Bollywood flicks) because they wanted to see Indian movies. Who are they to decide what Pakistanis want to see or not? It was the Indian producers who first imposed a ban on our artists.”
Bollywood PR guru Dale Bhagwagar from Mumbai points out that this hints at something deeper. “Until fundamental issues between the countries are not tackled, these ups and downs could continue. An interesting alternative for Pakistan would be to strengthen and raise the bar for quality of its own films.” The publicist adds, “If Pak films match the quality standards of Indian films, the question of looking to any other country to provide content won’t arise.”