As always, the Eid Ul Fitr releases for the year have been racked up, and it seems like it’s going to be a bloodbath. 8 films… 8 FILMS are going to be competing for your money in the coming weeks. It’s been a long time since it’s been this crowded at the theaters all at once.
What Films are Releasing in Pakistan on Eid Ul Fitr 2023?
3 Hollywood films and 5 Pakistani films are lined up for release on Eid Day.
John Wick Chapter 4 (which has been ruling the box office overseas)
Evil Dead Rise (which may hold some value for fans of the original franchise), and
The Super Mario Bros. Movie (which has broken opening day box office records).
Money Back Guarantee (a star-studded heist caper and the biggest release of the year so far)
Huey Tum Ajnabi (a love story set in the middle of the 1971 Pakistani civil war)
Daadal (a crime caper involving warring gangs)
Dorr (a revenge film based on the blueprint of old Lollywood filmmaking)
Lahore Qalander (a regional release starring Saima Noor).
This means 8 films will be fighting over the 144 cinema screens operational in Pakistan right now. This is much more insane than the 2022 Eid-ul-Fitr Dangal.
What was the 2022 Eid Ul Fitr Dangal?
In 2022 the release of “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” alongside a large roster of Pakistani films on Eid-ul-Fitr generated a lot of controversy among film circles.
Dr. Strange grossed approximately 24 Cr while the Pakistani films (“Ghabrana Nahi Hai”, “Chakkar”, “Parde Mein Rehne Do”, and “Tere Bajre Di Rakhi”) totaled around 30-35 Cr combined according to estimates.
Subsequently, certain foreign films have been released 1-2 weeks later in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. However, no other city seems to follow that schedule.
What Will the Eid Dangal in 2023 Look Like?
While no huge local releases dotted Eid-ul-Fitr in 2022, this year is different. Both “Money Back Guarantee” and “Huey Tum Ajnabi” hold a lot of intrigue for local movie goers.
That being said, “John Wick Chapter 4” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” are mammoth films. Cinema owners and exhibitors have chosen to release them on Eid because they are huge crowd pullers and not niche films. They will give stiff competition to local releases and may well outgross them.
The Eid Dangal Should Be A Thing of the Past Now
This year marks 10 years since “Waar” brought the slumbering Pakistani film industry to life and ushered in the new wave.
A lot of things have changed since then. The early optimism is dead and has given way to cynicism and far less experimentation. Audiences have also become more selective and less forgiving.
Successful, capable, and dependable filmmakers have emerged; each with their own genres. And last year, “The Legend of Maula Jatt” has given us the first 100 Cr and 200 Cr film in Pakistan’s history.
However, one thing which hasn’t changed is the Eid Dangal. And it needs to. If filmmakers continue to create lackluster products which can only be rescued by Eid releases, they will eventually destroy the industry.
I always point to 3 non-Eid, non-Holiday releases as examples of local filmmaking done right:
Teefa in Trouble
The Donkey King
The Legend of Maula Jatt
All 3 releases intrigued local audiences and did great business at the box office. They managed to get the whole pie, as Fawad Khan would say. Audiences didn’t need an excuse to go to the cinemas with these films, THEY ACTUALLY WANTED TO.
When the next weeks show how fighting over 144 screens is a zero sum game, Pakistani filmmakers will again be reminded that they need to start giving their audiences something better. Otherwise, empty theaters will again become wedding halls.