‘The Donkey King’ Stuns at the Box-Office: Why We Believe it Happened

The year 2018 it seems is going to be the one where Pakistani cinema – in all its forms and genres – starts to pick up momentum as far as audience acceptance and resulting box office revenues are concerned. The latest production to spring up a surprise is the Aziz Jindani directed animation-caper The Donkey King. The movie’s trailer, showcasing some impressive animation and a tongue-in-cheek storyline, not to mention a stellar line-up of stars, had already made its mark on the audience. While that translated to a decent opening on Friday, it was Saturday that witnessed history being made as far as animation movies in the country go —The Donkey King opened to 35 lacs, but collections jumped almost threefold to over 1 crore on Saturday. According to reports, the flick maintained its momentum on Sunday, although figures are still awaited. It is on course fora strong lifetime business, and is almost certain to rank among the highest grossers at the box office this year.All of this of course gives local animation studios more cause to celebrate, for the movie further consolidates and strengthens the market for indigenously produced animation content, which has seen some successes with the Teen Bahadur franchise and Allahyaar and The Legend of Markhor.

Among the reasons for King’s success is first and foremost, its excellent animation (credit: Talisman Studios), some of which gives the feel of a Hollywood production. However no amount of technical prowess can beat the power of storytelling, and the film does not disappoint in this department either.Among its other strengths, the movie’s plot and star line-up carry a uniquely mass-appealing flavor. The story centers around an underdog (underdonkey?)ascending to royalty and subsequently learning to live up to his responsibilities, and in a stroke of genius, the movie features the talented Afzal Khan and Hina Dilpazeer as the main voice-leads, allowing visually strong content to connect with an audience that may usually not be too amenable to a film of this type. It therefore comes as little surprise that the film has witnessed strong footfalls not only in the three main cities but also in mass circuits.

To complement its strong conceptualization and animation, King is well scripted and is also backed by a popular soundtrack. It is likely to find resonance among kids and just may manage to attract some adults to the theaters, too.

All figures courtesy

Written by Faisal Ali H

I work as an economist and maintain an active interest in Pakistani cinema.


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