As far as box-office outcomes go, 2019 has shaped up to be somewhat of a damp squib, with projects from some of the leading filmmakers not bearing the spectacular, earthshaking results that had been expected. Having said that, two films released over Eid-ul-Azha managed to outdo all others at the ticket counters and generated strong enough numbers to underscore that the nascent cinema machinery has the mojo to deliver commercially viable films even in economically challenging times.
Who claims the box office crown?
The two films in question, Parey Hut Love and Superstar were backed by two of the country’s most well- known studios The Vision Factory Films and M&D Productions, respectively, which gave them further momentum going into the lucrative Eid-ul-Azha period. That the festive period is known to bring in the highest footfalls is a recognized fact, however, one cannot discount that in addition to the prestigious production banners and star power, the content of the films resonated too with the audience. While both the films are still being exhibited at a few locations countrywide, their final box office tally has come into the spotlight, drawing attention to a rather interesting scenario where both films claim to have outdone each other at the ticket counters.
A close race
To be sure, the makers of Parey Hut Love have been pretty consistent in claiming the box office throne for the current year. In early September, ARY Films tweeted about their production being “the highest-grossing film of the year.”
#PareyHutLove rules the box office by becoming highest grossing Pakistani film worldwide for 2019!
In cinemas Now
A film by #AsimRaza #biggestblockbusterof2019 #aryfilms #sifilms #thevisionfactoryfilms #madeinpakistan #b4u #destinations #cocacola #daewooexpress #pepe pic.twitter.com/ifRgADMI6F
— ARY Films (@aryfilmsary) September 5, 2019
A week ago, they claimed via a social media post that the film had exceeded the 30 crore mark at the worldwide box-office.
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#pareyhutlove becomes the highest grossing pakistani film in 2019 with a global box office collection of 30 crores and still running in cinemas #aryfilms #sifilms #thevisionfactoryfilms #madeinpakistan #b4u #pepes #destinations #daewoo #cocacola @sheheryarmunawar @official_mayaali @ahmedalibutt @zaranoorabbas.official @salman_ary @jerjeesseja @asimrazatvf
M&D Films’ Superstar, on the other hand, was widely reported to be closely trailing Parey Hut Love at the Eid-ul-Azha box office worldwide, owing mainly to the latter’s better box office performance overseas, in particular in the North American market where Parey Hut Love was reported to have led by grossing 2.94 crores in the first three weeks. The difference between their performances in the high revenue UK market was a tiny 20 lacs, with Superstar showing a slightly higher lead, and Parey Hut Love led Superstar by a margin of 0.44 crores in the three-week overseas box office from the major markets. However, with figures tied for the domestic box office (both films were reported to have made 15 crores in the extended first week by EPK), the overall difference in the aggregate global tally was minuscule.
Analysis of the final figures for both films is complicated by the fact that none of them are independently verifiable and their country and venue-wise breakdowns have not been provided by either studio. With both the films claiming the box office crown, it just might be that one might be leading the other by a hair.
Galaxy Lollywood reached out to the man behind The Vision Factory films, Asim Raza, who said he would not like to comment on the development that Superstar was now claiming to be the highest grosser for the year.
That both the films managed to exceed the 30 crore mark worldwide is a heartening accomplishment for the film industry given the prevailing economic environment. Perhaps with a better release strategy where the two biggies were not released simultaneously, they could have scored even higher. For now, the jury is out there on which film claimed the box office crown, however, what we can say is that Parey Hut Love has the edge given its claimed the throne earlier and with more consistency.