Bollywood Rules at Pak box office

The three Khans of Bollywood not only rule the Indian box-office but they are also the kings of Pakistan. Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiotscollected Rs 5 crore across the border and the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer My Name Is Khanraked in Rs 5.25 crore. The Salman Khan-starrerBodyguard outdid them both by earning Rs 6 crore. Another Shah Rukh-starrer, Don 2, meanwhile, is expected to pull in Rs 7.25 crore. In fact, some experts say Pakistan is now one of Bollywood’s top five overseas markets and could soon rival the business done in Australia.

The ban on Indian films was lifted across the border in 2006 .Riffat Siddiqi, a well-known distributor in Pakistan, said, “From the time the market opened up in 2007, Indian films became the source for rebuilding cinema in the country. Within just four years, the entertainment business grew by 300% at the box office.”

Bollywood can’t ignore Pakistan now as an overseas market. Trade pundits said the business pattern in Pakistan is similar to that of the Punjab territory in India.

‘3 Idiots’, released in 2009, was shown on 22 screens. ‘Don 2’, released in 2011, had 38 screens. Currently, there are about 80 cinema halls there and trade pundits say another 20 could be added in two years.

The big movies have the ability to do business of US $1 million (Rs 4 crore to 5 crore) or more, said Pakistani sources. All the top Khan films are sold for $200,000 to $300,000 (Rs 1 crore to 1.5 crore). Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar films go for $75,000 to $150,000 (Rs 37.5 lakh to 75 lakh), said experts.

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