Bollywood's latest blockbuster Bang Bang has outgunned the much hyped Pakistani film Operation 021 during the Eid holidays with exhibitors being forced to take down the local offering from single screen cinemas after adverse reactions from the audience.
Operation 021, which stars Pakistani superstar Shaan, was expected to emulate the business done by Waar last year at Eid. Waar earned over Rs 200 crores at the Pakistani box office last year.
At the famous Capri and Bambino single screen cinemas, the owners took the film off screen after just one or two shows on Eid as the crowd resorted to throwing objects at the screen, booing and demanding refund of their tickets.
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They then decided to salvage the situation by scheduling in extras shows of the Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif starrer and another Pakistani release, comedy Na Maloom Afraad to replace Operation 021. "It was a bad situation on Eid day as we had kept extra shows of Operation 021 but after the crowd rejected the movie we had no option but to pull it off screen," Adeel Siddiqui the owner of Bambino cinema said in an interview.
"We always do bonus business on Eid holidays when all shows are housefull. Unfortunately, this time things didn't go as planned. Maybe the film was just too slow paced for the average cinema goer," he said.
Manager Saleem at Capri cinema had a similar story to tell. "The crowds just didn't want to watch the movie and were demanding refunds for their tickets." An employee at one of the four main cineplexes in Karachi said Operation 021 was screened there because of advance bookings for the four-day Eid holiday period.
But in two of the cineplexes of Karachi, the exhibitors brought in extra shows of Bang Bang, Na Maloom Afraad and Khoobsurat later on.
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Bang Bang had till the first day of Eid collected Rs 35 million in ticket sales across Karachi and exhibitor- distributor, Nadeem Manviwalla said the film collected around Rs 8 million on Eid while Operation 021 and Na Maloom Afraad each earned Rs 5.5 million primarily due to advance bookings.
Even Khoobsurat, starring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, which has been running in cinemas since last month, managed to generate another Rs 1.2 million on Eid day.
Pakistan has become an attractive market for Bollywood film distributors since a ban was lifted on screening of Indian films in Pakistan during the tenure of former President, Pervez Musharraf, in 2008.