Trade Reports have indicated that so far this year only one release has attained Super Hit status and another four or five titles proven popular. All the rest have been losers. Following is a film by film analysis of the 20 odd releases of the year so far and their Box Office performances.
The undoubted smash hit of the year has been Ghar Kab Aao Gay while a handful of films including Khuda Ke Chor, Mujhe Chand Chahiye, Bali Jatti and Yaar Badshah have proved profitable.
The state of the industry is perilous and huge losses have been incurred due to film flopping left, right and centre, and with increasing taxes, cable tv and the public growing disinterest……alarm bells are ringing in Lollywood and all eyes are set on Syed Noor’s just released Mehndi Waley Haath to stem the rot.
Looking back over the year……January and Eid brought the release of four new films including Ghar Kab Aao Gay and Angaaray and two Punjabi films Anjuman’s Jag Mahi and Bali Jattee.
Ghar Kab Aao Gay proved to be technically far superior to the usual Lollywood fare with good music, acting and action scenes. The movie stormed the nations Box Office and went on to become the hit of the year so far. In Sindh, the movie scored a Golden Jubilee where as in Punjab it went even further, hitting the Platinum Jubilee target of 75 weeks – almost unheard of these days.
The other Urdu release, Syed Noor’s Angaarey proved to be a damp squib – a copy of the Hindi film Gardish as well as local film Basheera. The film tarnished Noor’s reputation and ended up becoming a resounding Box Office flop. The same directors Punjabi film Bali Jattee was another reworking of Noor’s own successful Daku Rani. The film did strong business in Punjab and had an average run in Sindh. Bali Jatti thus turned into one of the few money-earning ventures of the year.
Despite Anjuman’s presence, Masood Butt’s film Jag Mahi was a resounding flop all over the country uncurring massive losses for its investors.
February also saw four films being released including a new Anjuman comeback vehicle Peengan which went the way of Jag Mahi, flopping horribly. So awful was its performance in Punjab that the planned nationwide release was cancelled – a terrible blow to the once all conquering Anjuman whose current comeback trail had started so promisingly with Chaudrani but now lay in tatters with just Jatti DaVeer to look forward to.
Iqbal Kashmiri’s film Ham Hain Khiladi Pyar Ke also failed miserably and the two Punjabi flicks Long Da Lashkara and Yaar Chan Varga were both released on the very same day. Neither made much of an impression and remained losing propositions. A double blow for both Shaan and Reema who featured in both the box office duds.
Like January and February before March also saw the release of four new productions some of them rather expensive affairs. Syed Noor completed a hat-trick of disastrous Urdu films with the awful Jungle Queen – now firmly established as his worst ever film, quite an accolade.
Another release was the multi starrer Masood Butt film Pehchan which featured Saima, Shaan, Moammar Rana, Saima, Reema, Saud and Sana. The film failed to get going partly as it was a blatant rip off of Talash.
Mujhe Chand Chahiye however clicked in a huge way, particularly in the Punjab where its business was exceptionally strong. The biggest beneficiary was starlet Noor who overnight became the busiest actor in Lollywood.
The sole Punjabi release of the following month was Yaar Badshah with Shaan and Saima. The film clicked in Punjab enjoying a run of many months yet it flopped in Sindh.
Only two films followed the month after Eid – Pasand with Babar Ali and Reema bombed horribly. The lone Punjabi film was a film starring Shafqat Cheema in an attempt at making it as a hero. Unfortunately for him, the film met with an appalling response and was pulled from release in a matter of a few days. The Urdu release for the month was Sangdil which managed to do reasonably well – the film starred Shaan, Moammar Rana, Saima and Reema.
Another copy of Talash was released in Dil Se Na Bhoolana which went the same way as Pehchan, flopping badly.
The last release of the month was Khuda Ke Chor with Saima, Shaan, Reema, Saud, Babar Ali, Khushboo, Badar Munir and veteran Nadeem. The film was directed by Parvez Rana and went on to become a nationwide success raking in the rupees in the scorching summer heat.
Reshman, Madam Sangeeta’s Punjabi village opus started well but faded fast despite having decent songs and production values. June also saw the arrival of the much-touted Jinnah which created waves of interest and benefitted from being tax exempted. Despite the initial clamour, Jinnah’s power quickly faded away and it couldn’t manage the sort of run that was expected.
Banarsi Chor with Saud, Saima and Reema flopped and another stale product with Neeli and Javed Shaikh Meri Tauba failed to achieve a complete national release after its miserable showing in Sindh.
Among the recent releases, Syed Noor’s Billi starring up and coming Noor has met with a poor response both critically and by the public who have stayed away. Meanwhile Sajjad Gul’s No Paisa No Problem has begun its run with some decent reports emanating. Let’s see if it manages to make an impression. The industry is buzzing about the trailer of Syed Noor’s latest offering along the lines of Choorian starring Saima. Mehndi Waley Haath‘s trailer has been causing a storm at numerous cinema’s where patrons have demanded a repeat screening of the trailer. With such enormous interest being generated with the early publicity, much is expected of Mehndi Waley Haath which has just been unleashed in cinemas over the last fortnight. Most producers have held their own product back to clear the way for Mehndi Waley Haath.