Relations between India and Pakistan are at an all-time low following the attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir last month. This was followed by air strikes carried out by India to destroy terrorist training camps, in retaliation. The repercussion of the tensions were felt on the entertainment industry in both countries with several actors from Bollywood supporting the ban on Pakistani artistes. Subsequently films like Luka Chuppi and Total Dhamaal failed to find a release in Pakistan.
Similarly, Pakistan too passed a resolution to not allow Indian content in their country. However, now several reports have claimed that the ban on Bollywood films in Pakistani theatres has affected the entertainment industry severly, several reports have claimed.
The reports say that the Pakistani entertainment industry has been feeling the pinch on the pocket as people are not coming to the theatres since Bollywood films are not playing there. “Cinemas are experiencing the lowest footfall after the ban,” said Syed Mubashir Imam, chief executive officer of the Karachi-based Media City Productions Pvt, a television production company. “It is indeed a challenge for them and not an easy task.”
Things have reached such a point that Cinepax, Pakistan’s largest cinema operator with 45 screens and over 6,000 seats nationwide (in Pakistan) is offering a 40 per cent discount on tickets for Pakistani films at silver screen theatres, and a 30 per cent price-cut at the higher-end gold theatres. Cinepax is now running the re-runs of old Pakistani films since the ticket sales are so low.
Even before the current political stand-off, the cinema chain was offering discounts of as much as 40 per cent on tickets to attract more customers. “Bollywood movies, with their often musical formats are popular in Pakistan, accounting for about 60 per cent of total cinema consumption,” according to Rafay Mahmood, culture editor at Karachi-based The Express Tribune.