Going back just five years, it would have been unfathomable to think that Pakistani cinema not only would be commercially viable once again, it would actually be a roaring success and have the cash registers at movie theaters jingling. That is precisely what has happened – in a span of half a decade, the film industry has made a quantum leap from its Lollywood-phase, capturing the imagination of film-buffs across the nation. Many films have also managed to make a mark internationally, with box office revenues from major overseas territories in UK, UAE and North America speaking for themselves.In this new avatar, the modern day Pakistani cinema is more realistic, tech savvy, and dare we say more entertaining. The audiences have enthusiastically supported the movie industry’s content since major flow of films started in 2015. Since that year, annual revenues of the still nascent film industry have consistently exceeded Rs 100 crore.
2018 marks a watershed moment for the local film industry, for this is the year which has seen the highest revenue and the best box office returns for local films. In Pakistan alone, the aggregate revenue from the three major Eid-ul-Azha releases has exceeded 90 crores. For the global box office collections, this figure is closer to 120 crore. Depending on how the forthcoming releases The Donkey King and a few others fare, the annual figure from the Pakistani market alone could touch 180 crore. Worldwide it will cross the 200 crore mark with ease.
This is indeed an impressive feat to accomplish. The budgets of Pakistani films usually range from 5 to 10% of those of foreign films, and competition is relentless from Hollywood and Bollywood. Barring the one week Eid limitation on some foreign content, Pakistani film makers are given no preferential treatment by the multiplexes. And coming to media, the blowback from self-styled film critics is often harsh — disparaging comparisons with content from across the border and reviews that scream of condescension are far too common than they should be. It is this scenario under which Pakistani films have broken domestic box office records, with the latest being from Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2, of the highest grossing film historically in the country.
We at PakistaniCinema.net hope that the local movie industry will continue to shatter box office records and conquer new horizons worldwide. With many promising releases lined up for 2019, the future for Pakistani films indeed looks bright!