The last week has been hard on the cinema owners with the news coming in that the Indian movies will no longer be releasing in Pakistan. Following this, cinemas reverted back to playing some of the recently released local Blockbusters.
Amid all the talk of a ban, tensions, and confusions post-Pulwama Attack, there is one Indian film which has held its ground firmly at the local box office, and that is, Gully Boy.
Released on the 14th of February all across Pakistan, Gully Boy was hitting the cinemas after the blockbuster run of another Ranveer Singh starrer, Simbaa. Therefore, the film’s positive opening was expected; and given some good content, it was also expected to do well in the long run. The movie, so far, seems to be fulfilling both the expectations.
Starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in lead roles, Gully Boy amassed 4.8 crores in its first four days of release. This is a huge number considering the film is not that mainstream in comparison to other big Bollywood releases.
Moreover, post-Monday, the tensions between India and Pakistan worsened and after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech, the film faced a hit in its collections that dropped significantly in certain centres.
It, however, still did not fall completely and continued to do some good business at the metros, collecting a total of 7 crores in eight days. Had the situation not worsened, these collections would have been a lot higher as the film has found some great appreciation among its audience.
This week, some cinemas have stopped playing Indian movies, and this self-imposed ban might spread to other parts of the country too, especially with a recently filed petition in this regard pending at the Lahore high court.
Despite all of this, the collections of Gully Boy are an unambiguous message to the public on that side of the border that Pakistan and Pakistanis stand for peace and do not mix entertainment with politics. Let’s hope that the heat between the two countries starts going down soon and both the neighbours move towards normalcy.