Saudi Arabia was long a country where several forms of entertainment such as night clubs, cinema halls, drama theatres and music concerts were banned. However, earlier last year, the Kingdom took a step towards becoming a more liberal country and planned to introduce all forms of entertainment which the residents of the country could enjoy. In an effort to provide a fun environment to the people living in Saudi Arabia, cinema halls were opened all across the country. Musical concerts were held as well with the likes of Nelly, Sean Paul, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performing.
And since the people of Saudi Arabia have a high number of expatriates and love to watch Indian films, a lot of the same were also released. Here’s a list of some of the Indian films that have been released in Saudi Arabia so far:
Starring Akshay Kumar, Gold was the first ever Bollywood film to release in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At the time, the star also tweeted, “The story of India's first Gold medal victory for the first time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Happy to share, Gold is the first ever Bollywood movie to release in the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia, in cinemas from today.” Gold told the story of India's iconic win at the 1948 London Olympics. Along with Akshay, it also starred Mouni Roy, Amit Sadh, Kunal Kapoor and Vineet Kumar Singh.
Prior to Gold, Rajinikanth was the first actor to hit cinema theatres with his film. The legendary actor’s gangster drama Kaala became the first Indian film to release in Saudi Arabia. The production banner behind the film, Wunderbar Films also released a statement on the film’s release in the Kingdom. It tweeted, “This is huge! Kaala is the first ever Indian film to be released in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Before Kaala, only Hollywood’s Black Panther had been released in the Kingdom.
Much like the rest of the world, superstar Salman Khan has a huge fan following in Saudi Arabia as well. So when the announcement of Bharat releasing in the Kingdom was made, fans went ballistic. The film was released across the globe in summer this year and fans in the Kingdom flocked cinema halls to see their favourite star on screen. Apart from Salman, Bharat also starred Katrina Kaif and Jackie Shroff. The film opened to INR 42.30 crore on the first day of its release, becoming Salman’s biggest film opening ever.
With a huge number of expatriates residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, especially from South India, it’s no surprise that Tamil films would be some of the favourite in the region. To cater to the Tamil community in Saudi Arabia, Bigil was also recently released. The story revolves around a football coach who struggles to fulfill the dream of his late friend and seeks out revenge on the death of his best friend. Bigil is currently screening in cinema houses across the Kingdom.
Another Bollywood film to finally make it to cinema halls in Saudi Arabia is Ayushmann Khurrana’s Bala. It will also mark the actor’s first film to release in Saudi Arabia. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh announced the news on Twitter. He shared. “Bala clears Saudi Arabia censor board. It will be the first movie of Ayushmann Khurrana to release in Saudi Arabia on November 14, 2019.” Earlier this week, Bala also became the actor’s biggest film opening ever putting Bala at the forefront of all others in cinema houses worldwide. The film also stars Bhumi Pednekar and Yami Gautam in titular roles.