Indian distributors have expressed concern that Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish, which has Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles, was screened in Pakistan two days ahead of its India release, a media report said.
Guzaarish was scheduled for release in both countries Nov 19, but Pakistani film exhibitors showed it Nov 17.
The Express Tribune reported on Thursday that the Indian distributors have expressed concern and questioned Pakistani exhibitors for releasing the film in Pakistan ahead of its release in India.
The issue was apparently not blown up as the film has done well at the Indian box office.
"Had Guzaarish not done well at the Indian box office, the release of more Indian films in Pakistan may have been jeopardised," a source said.
The Pakistani film exhibitors maintain that they released Guzaarish two days ahead of its release in India as they didn’t have any major film for Eid.
The Express Tribune quoted film exhibitor Jehanzeb Beg as saying the early release shouldn’t be a problem with Indian film exhibitors as they don’t have any legal right to object to the territorial release of a film in Pakistan.
Films in India, he said, are released on occasions like Diwali while Eid is the right occasion to release new films in Pakistan.
“Pakistani distributors had bought the rights and they spoke to the people concerned before releasing the film. Only the main distributor from whom Pakistani exhibitors have bought the distribution rights of the film can object to this, the exhibitors in Dubai or anywhere else have nothing to do with it. Additionally, a producer may have an issue with this situation but not the distributors,” he was quoted as saying.
The film was earlier planned to be released Nov 12 in both countries, but it got delayed for a week in India.
Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association chairman Zoraiz Lashari said that exhibitors had a film in hand so they decided to release it Nov 17.
He said: “This is one rare case that may never happen again. We had the film and we wanted to release it on Eid so we went ahead with it.”
An insider told the daily that major distributors of Indian films in Pakistan would now be warned against screening any Indian film before it's release in India.