This Pakistan day (a day before actually, that’d be 22nd of March), we have two new local releases coming out. The first one is Sherdil and the second is Laal Kabootar.
Sherdil takes forward the current bilateral issues between India and Pakistan on the air force battlefield. Laal Kabootar, on the other hand, is based in Karachi and has indie film vibes which are likely to appeal to a niche audience rather than having a countrywide appeal. Either way, the films are good news for our otherwise deserted cinemas. We, at Galaxy Lollywood, asked some of our senior team members to share their point of views on how the two films will fare at the Box Office. Here’s what they had to say:
Momin Ali Munshi
“Quite frankly I’m not expecting much from both the films but I do feel that Sherdil will lead the race and record better numbers because the film has a good cast, and well, patriotism sells!
However, while the film will reap benefits with its timing, I also feel that the anti-India sentiment isn’t quite as huge as it was a few weeks back when the Pulwama attacks happened. I mention this because the makers obviously wanted to capitalize on the hatred with this film (I mean we all saw the teasers) but I don’t think the emotions are soaring as high. Also, the songs and promos haven’t really caught the public’s fancy, so let’s see. But yeah, a good opening is definitely on the cards, as for lifetime, not expecting huge numbers.
As for Laal Kabootar, it’s a niche film with relatively lesser known actors, so a big opening is completely out of the picture. If the content is strong, which the actors have vehemently stated, the film might record good numbers in the long run. It all boils down to the content.
Though one thing is for sure that both the films will face the brunt of the Bollywood ban which has had a huge impact on the footfalls. I don’t feel either of these two films or the Hollywood release have that big of a push to fill the halls so after the holiday weekend, the films will have to struggle a lot.”
“Being a film that caters to masses with a formula that pretty much ticks all the boxes for family audiences in Pakistan – namely a shadi number, a club number, a romantic sequence and patriotic theme at its backbone – Sherdil should outpace Laal Kabootar.
Laal Kabootar, on the other hand, belongs to a niche genre, with relatively lesser known faces and an equally new team. It’s my prediction that Laal Kabootar may struggle at the BO, as far as its opening is concerned. However, if the content is strong, a positive word of mouth would definitely help. Pakistani films goers have earlier given nods of appreciation to offbeat films like Cake and Mantu so Laal Kabootar will definitely have a chance if it comes out as a well made, content-driven film.”
“I think both the releases will not do much in terms of numbers. Laal Kabootar is a niche film, specifically for Karachi audience – an indie film in simpler terms. Sherdil will probably find acceptance among the masses due to its Indo-Pak tensions angle. It is also possible that a section of the audience will not even go to the cinema because they’re upset about Captain Marvel not releasing.”
“Sherdil has three major things going for itself: The timing of the release, the theme, a popular genre, and a lack of choice for the audience. While the last factor is a double-edged sword and can lead to an eventuality where the cinemas face a lack of footfall in general, I believe that combined with a weekend that will also host a national holiday, the film will have a field day, at least initially.
Besides that, however, I don’t see much going in the film’s favour. The last film on a similar theme (Parwaaz Hai Junoon) did a business of around 36 crores on the local box office. But that one had names like Hamza Ali Abbasi, Ahad Raza Mir, and Hania Amir starring in it. Considering all these factors, I predict Sherdil would do decent business, and if nothing else, would at least, easily breakeven in the domestic market. Anything beyond would have to rely on the content.
Laal Kabootar, on the other hand, has been a big surprise. In terms of content, whatever has come out for promotions so far has managed to impress me at least. What Laal Kabootar doesn’t have, however, is a bankable star that would singlehandedly pull people to cinemas. The promotions too were although decent lacked any standout factor (PSL appearance considered).
Between the two Pakistan Day releases, I believe Laal Kabootar will claim a slightly bigger share of the pie, provided that it receives equal reception on both; the southern and the northern markets.”
“The dry spell is haunting our cinemas with its dark forces. On one hand, Bollywood films, which are the major source of footfall and revenue, have been banned to run. On the other, Hollywood’s much-awaited tentpole, Captain Marvel, which is flying very high in the global market, could not get released due to financial woes of stakeholders. Under such dire circumstances, the release of two local films, Sherdil and Laal Kabotar, on the 22nd March, should bring highly-needed joy on the faces of filmmakers, exhibitors, distributors, and audiences, but I doubt it would actually materialize.
Both releases lack star-power, hype, and magnetism needed to make people turn off their TV screens and leave their homes for theaters (to watch what? The same faces that they are used to watching on their small screens. And even that after spending a hefty amount on tickets, popcorn, and fizzy drinks? Come on! Aren’t they better off listening to Madam Noor Jahan’s patriotic songs and scrolling through endless celeb dance videos on Instagram? All that for free!)
I think there will be not much happening at the box office this weekend. It’s only possible through a miracle, honestly.”
According to GL’s senior members, not much is being expected from the 22nd March releases but oh well, we are hopeful people anyway so we are just going to keep our fingers crossed.