‘Sijjin’, the Indonesian horror film focusing on black magic has managed to garner an audience in Pakistan. Over its two weeks at the box office, it has generated over 2 crore PKR. This is in stark contrast to both the Pakistani and Hollywood flicks hitting theatres over the past few months which haven’t generated sizable revenues at all. Even on its second weekend, film’s ticket sale was ahead of Yumna Zaidi starree new release ‘Nayab’.
So, Why Has ‘Sijjin’ Emerged as a Sleeper Hit?
1: Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. Yet, there has never been a native Indonesian release in Pakistan. The novelty may have attracted film lovers or connoisseurs.
2: The focus on black magic means it offers a more relatable premise to Pakistanis rather than zombies, ghosts, or witches. Black magic is feared by Muslims around the world due to its repeated mention in scripture as well as religious history.
3: There has apparently been an underground boycott campaign against the film by those who believe black magic shouldn’t be shown on film. Boycotts usually have opposite effects. The more someone says you shouldn’t consume something, the more curious you tend to be.
4: ’Sijjin’ has a great trailer. It looks professionally made and offers genuine scares. That is enough to make film lovers rush to theaters.
5: ‘Sijjin’ is a remake of a 2014 Turkish horror film ‘Siccîn’ which itself is a very popular motion picture. That makes it an exciting case for the Pakistani fans of Turkish content.
‘Sijjin’ probably won’t emerge as a huge winner at the Pakistani box office, but the fact that it’s doing so much better than our local film products should give us pause.