Eid is just around the corner. The Eid releases, too. We, at Galaxy Lollywood, have our fingers crossed for the local as well as foreign releases to bring some respite to our cinemas. With Chhalawa and Wrong no. 2 hitting the cinemas tomorrow, alongside three major Hollywood releases; Aladdin , Godzilla, and The Secret Life of Pets 2 we are yet to see what happens at the Box Office. A while ago, we did a piece on how according to our cinemas’ track record, Hollywood releases might outshine our local releases this time too but well, nothing can be said with certainty unless we actually see it happen.
Anyway, the films are good news for our otherwise deserted cinemas. We, therefore, recently asked some of our senior team members to share their point of views on how they think the Eid releases will fare at the Box Office. Here’s what they had to say:
Momin Ali Munshi
This clash is actually very interesting because both the films (Chhalawa and Wrong No. 2) fall in the romantic comedy genre, they are both the third directorial ventures for their respective directors who both had underperforming second films. So this is actually a clash in the true sense of the word.
If you ask me who’ll lead the race, well without having seen both the films and not taking into account the quality of the content, I fee Chhalawa will lead. Firstly, it has Mehwish Hayat who is the most bankable female star of the country, then the trailer generated the right noise, the ensemble cast is a decent mix and the title track has already become a hit. Add to that the Punjabi factor, which is bound to connect with the Punjab audience which by the way is the largest share at the box office, so goes without saying that the film will lead.
On the other hand, Wrong No.2 also has stars like Neelam Muneer and Sami Khan along with a plethora of supporting actors but a major box office pull is missing. Moreover, the trailer and the songs of the film haven’t really generated any considerable buzz. But, having seen Yasir’s previous two films, it would not be surprising if the content of the film connects with the audiences as both of his earlier films found acceptability with the masses.
As for lifetime, it hugely depends on the content, because both films will get a good opening thanks to Eid, but after that, it’s the content that will do the talking.
To be honest, unfortunately for me, both films are very pheeky. While both Chhalawa and Wrong Number 2 have their own USPs (Unique Selling Points), they have their own baggage of shortcomings as well. Chhalawa, although looks strong on audiovisual fronts, has a clichéd storyline that cine-goers have seen one too many times.
Wrong Number 2, on the other hand, although has a mass appealing genre and an apparently very layered storyline (The Sana-Yasir angle, the Neelum-Sami romance and the presence of a strong supporting cast), it doesn’t have much on audiovisual fronts. So both the films will run a neck to neck race, in my opinion.
Lastly, since both have comedy in them, they will definitely sell. Chhalawa will most probably be the preferred choice for families while Wrong Number 2 will most likely be the choice for the younger lot. Comparing the BO record of Wajahat and Yasir, the latter obviously has an edge on the former so if the content is strong, WN2 may even lead Chhalawa but the opening numbers won’t have much difference. However, in the end, the content is always the king and the deciding factor.
Chhalawa will do good business in Punjab as its content is likely to resonate with many mass centers’ audience here. It is, therefore, expected to do well in the multiplexes of Punjab. As for the rest of Pakitan, the business might not be as big but if we look at both the local releases, Chhalawa is likely to do better.
Wrong No. 2 will be able to find some audience due to it being a sequel to Wrong No. Since the star cast is not that big, mostly the audience will be walk-in and if the film is good, it may find acceptance beyond the 5 day weekend. It is likely to do well in mass centers mainly.
As for the Hollywood releases, Godzilla and Aladdin will do good business as both are popular brands. Last year, Jurassic did well too for these films have the ability to do well with Urdu versions and also on account of their universal appeal. The Punjab market has been really slow since the ban on Bollywood so some of these films bring breaths of fresh air with them.
Let’s wait and see how the situation unfolds. Fingers crossed!