Distributors and exhibitors in Pakistan have abandoned Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Chennai Express’ and Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai – 2′. Both were slated to release on the day of Eid, August 8, in the country. The reason being cited is that Pakistani filmmakers want four of their films- ‘Josh’, ‘Ishq Khuda’, ‘Waar’ and ‘Mein Huun Shahid Afridi’ - to get more visibility than the Indian films.

Leading distributor Abdul Rashid, who controls a large section of the distribution chain across the border, and has been in touch with the producers of Chennai Express and Once Upon…, UTV and Balaji, respectively, communicated the decision to the two production houses.

Expressing disappointment with the developments, a source said, “Theatres in Pakistan generate maximum revenue from Hindi films. So it is really sad that this time, they did a volteface. UTV and Balaji tried reasoning with the filmmakers, but to no avail.”

According to trade sources, Pakistan’s blackout of these two films will lead to an estimated loss to the tune of Rs 20 crore. When contacted, Abdul Rashid told TOI, “Yes, we are not releasing Chennai Express and Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai – 2 in Pakistan. Our government wants to protect the interests of the Pakistan film fraternity.”

He also added, “We don’t mind rescheduling the two films to August 15. But piracy would have reduced the business prospects of the two films by then.” Admitting that exhibitors would stand to gain by accommodating the two big-ticket films, Rashid however said, “We cannot overrule our government’s decision.”

Neither UTV nor Balaji were willing to comment on the development.

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Comments (59)

April 24, 2013 12:02 pm
You see your original comment obviously was very anti Indian and while I can understand the frustration it brings due to the fact that Pakistani film industry is not at the same level as Bollywood, banning Indian movies won't do any good.Its like saying" lets ban all Indian music to promote Pakistani artists".Where will this lead us and do you really think that people in Pakistan will stop watching or listening to Indian movies and music..Why do you think lot of Pakistani artists make Mumbai their home instead of staying in Pakistan?It is obvious that they have much to gain and do not ever face any discrimination in the Indian film industry.
April 23, 2013 5:31 pm
Wow....u hv a very low respect for Pakistani identity....!! If by watching Indian movies if you become a non-Pakistani then by those standards you will become an alien by watching Hollywood movies.
April 23, 2013 7:49 pm
All the best now its up to the people to THRONG the theaters !!!
April 23, 2013 8:39 pm
It is OK for Pakistan to take action to protect it's film industry but not OK for India to throw Pakistani actors from Bollywood to give jobs to Indian. If India takes action it is hate but if Pakistan does it than it is OK?
Pavan Samudrala
April 23, 2013 8:02 pm
I sincerely wish these movies serve their purpose. An ideal thing would be to put the Akshay/Shahrukh movie besides these new movies and hope the Aks/SRK film fails. Hopefully Bollywood will learn to make some meaningful movies then which also serves as a tonic to Pakistan Film Fraternity. Win-Win situation.
Sarfraz Nawaz
April 25, 2013 6:34 am
Your Pakistani artists earn much more from Indian Film Industry. And mind you 20 cr. is nothing comparing to 100 or 200 Crs. which now days a benchmark for hindi film industry. if we in India start thinking the way you are thinking there are no dearth of talent in India. By the way I have no idea what Ali Zafar has to be a bollywood hero as there are better and far good looking actors are in India. you can compare him with other two lads in Chashme Baddoor. 20 Cr. my foot.
April 23, 2013 8:56 pm
A truly patriotic and idiotic decision, It would have been wise to cash in by implementing an extra tax on foreign movies be it Indian or Turkish and let the public decide if they wanted to pay extra and watch an Indian or some other foreign movie. In both circumstances it would have been a win win situation.
Irrfaan Akhtaar
April 23, 2013 8:59 pm
these patriot pakistani will buy some pirated copies of bollywood movies and will see them in the closed door.
April 24, 2013 12:01 pm
Next they will ban Turkish soaps. For a movie to be successful people need to go to the theater n watch it. With the prevailing situation, is it secure to take your family out to watch a movie
April 24, 2013 12:03 pm
Who will risk their lives?
April 23, 2013 1:01 pm
If I was in Pakistan, I would go and see the 4 Pakistani films. Our actors are much better than SRK and Akshay. And you Indians can give this comment a thumbs down.
April 23, 2013 3:37 pm
Good decision. The French government took the same decision some 35 years ago, and it's film industry has flourished since then among both French and other European audiences. If our government can also allow subsidised rates for Pakistani films, then we can actually develop a film industry.
April 24, 2013 9:00 am
2-3 pakistani movie ko chhod ke...koi bhi aisi movie nahi hai...jo bollywood ke equivalent ho....... so..yadi aap india ke market me aate hai to..aap yaha fight nahi kar payenge....aur na hi log dekhane jayenge..& nahi..cinema wale lagayenge.....es condition me aapake liye yahi achha hai.. ki..pahale..apane local level pe...movies ki quality ko strong karo...fir jab international level ki ho jaye...to foreign me export karo....us time india wale bhi aapaki movie dekhana pasand karenge...
April 24, 2013 11:53 am
Think of reasons why something is copied in the first place. Let me help you .....economics n profitability thrives on public demand. Those who r in lolly wood also want to earn bread n butter, so if the public likes Bollywood it is copied.
April 23, 2013 6:12 pm
Very True Why bring Hate in this matter, It will bring along nothing but disturbance. Let Local actors also enjoy some exposure some lime light.
April 23, 2013 4:49 pm
Because my dear whether you like it or not, you are a part of India that is now called Pakistan.
April 24, 2013 11:54 am
I do agree that he is a good actor,however not in the same class as the ones I mentioned.There are true stage actors.SRK has been doing movies by numbers and doesn't have many substantial roles one can think of.Not taking anything away from him,but there are definitely artists there that are a class apart..
April 23, 2013 6:16 pm
Ask your Indian Brethren to find someone like Atif Aslam, Adnan Sami, Ali Zafar and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan first..
April 24, 2013 9:29 am
Protectionism will never improve standards of any industry of a country -- open competition does! The late Mrs.Thatcher taught this valuable lesson in Britain, where all protectionist policies were overhauled and the UK made to "stand on its own two feet competing with the best of international companies in an open playing field. The uncompetitive and non-innovative British companies folded up, while others devised means in areas of strength with which to face foreign companies ". Likewise, in Pakistan, the film industry should get used to competing with Bollywood, only then its producers and directors will think differently and churn out products equal to or better than Bollywood films. Else, Pakistan will languish with substandard films, unable to get a foothold in the highly competitive arena outside.
April 23, 2013 3:57 pm
Who said anything about the list of artists that you mentioned let alone belittling them. I only mentioned SRK and Akshay in my comment above. I stand by my earlier comment that I would rather go and see the films with Pakistani actors instead of them
April 23, 2013 3:14 pm
Continue with the release of Indian movies in Pakistan and release Pakistani movies in India. It's really not that difficult to arrive at a win-win situation.
April 23, 2013 3:41 pm
for all of your genuine actors, i give you Hina Dilpazir. beat that!
April 23, 2013 4:26 pm
finally a good decision.
April 24, 2013 9:16 am
@Shruti, its not about personal likes or dislikes.... if there's nothing wrong in Pakistan's ban on Indian films to promote theirs then the logic says ban the entry of their actors in India to promote Indian actors ! Isn't it plain and simple ?
April 23, 2013 4:04 pm
Not just that, the "making films for masses" thing also make these actors do bad roles. If you have seen SRK's earlier, not so famous, films like Ahmaq and Maya Memsahab - you'll agree that he's good actor. Same is true for Amitabh, with films like Anand, Reshma aur Shera, Mili, Chupke Chupke, Saudagar. But these actors 'chose' to play mass appeal roles. Indian society in general has become more mass oriented, and less classy, over the 60 year period of democracy, while I still see a lot of elite and classy things appreciated in Pakistani main stream.
April 23, 2013 3:26 pm
Mr Bobby..I am from Pakistan and quite patriotic..but i loved the way you just replied to my fellow country man..this shows your good upbringing and maturity. RESPECT man! stay blessed :)
April 23, 2013 3:09 pm
If you are so confident then why ban Indian films?? Lets release both Pakistani and Indian films both in India and Pakistan simultaneously , then we can see. In anyways Pakistani people will watch these movies in pirated CD's. By banning something will never help, we always need to compete with best and try to beat it. In India there is a big population(mostly Urban) which watch Hollywood films, but we never ban them.
April 23, 2013 3:04 pm
Pakistani scripts are good but even the much touted picture 'Bol' was very badly edited with poor cinematography and sound effects like it was an amateur video film. Pakistan tv ads also lack professionalism, too lengthy and are not crisp. 'Bol' was disappointing in that it looked like a period film, atleast 20 years behind today's way of life in India, atleast. And cinema houses in Pakistan are another sad story.Comparison with India on any grounds is astounding. But agreed, domestic industry must be allowed to suffer. Pictures in India are not primarily made with Pakistani audience in mind. Indian films for Indians first. Loss of revenue from Pakistan might eat out a fraction of profits to Indian producers nothing more. Pakistan artistes and pictures are no threat to Indians or India and make hardly a mark here the way Bollywood has culturally and psychologically conquered Pakistanis for over 6 decades now.
April 23, 2013 2:47 pm
This is only common sense decision.
April 23, 2013 2:04 pm
Ask all the pakistani actors in Bollywood to leave India.
April 23, 2013 2:10 pm
I do appreciate your sentiment and you are right when you say that your actors are much better than SRK and Akshay.They make films for masses..However, there is a whole breed of genuine actors that India possess that you won't be able to list in the same category.The likes of Naseerudin Shah,Shabana Azmi,Paresh Rawal,Nana Patekar,Om Puri and in recent times Manoj Bajpai,Nawazuddin Siddiqui,Abhay Deol,Irfaan Khan to name a few.Lets not start comparisons and belittle the talent that these actors possess and while I can understand your patriotic sentiment, it does not take away anything from this talent pool.
car addict
April 23, 2013 3:38 pm
Most pakistani want ban on indian movies because they prefer pirated cd version (with chintu candy commercial ).
April 23, 2013 1:30 pm
very strange but good news!
April 23, 2013 2:21 pm
It will be better for Pakistan film industry and actors to raise the bar of acting and quality. Banning Indian film will not do any good and they will remain at the same level where they have been since day one.
Asif Kashmiri
April 23, 2013 2:12 pm
yara, why do you preach hate all the time?
April 23, 2013 2:26 pm
if Pakistani movies look like the same as indian ones i.e. promoting vulgarity-nudity-profanity then I would think we should make something Pakistani first then release. Why in the world Pakistani media cannot make a drama or movie with Modesty? why do we always have to copy india?
dr bisma
April 23, 2013 12:29 pm
atleast someone took a right decision to protect Pakistani media and identity...
April 24, 2013 4:59 am
I think, its a valid comment from Indian ! Its a valid outburst on the insane decision of Pakistani Government. Govt. of both the countries poke their nose in every field and make a mess out of it! instead of preaching peace they spread hatred by their policies !!
April 24, 2013 4:55 am
I don't think Ban will benefit Pakistani Film Industry, these movies will be freely available in the pirated versions and people would prefer watching 'em at home. Also, in financial terms, 20 crore will not make any difference to Indian film makers. Having said that, government of both the countries must stop this business of banning movies and sportsmen. May the peace prevail !!
April 23, 2013 3:37 pm
SRK make movie for masses then who does swades , devdas , chak de india , kabhi ha kabhi naaa srk have various diverse, role in his lifetime
Ahmed Sultan (India)
April 24, 2013 1:44 pm
Bollywood will earn a lot with their absence
Md Imran
April 23, 2013 2:39 pm
AoA! Good decision !
April 23, 2013 12:17 pm
Buy them at a lower price and release it by 15th August.Serves both purposes.
April 25, 2013 3:15 am
What ever the reason for not screening Indian films, I am glad its being done! I hope that Indian films don't return for at least all three days of Eid.
April 24, 2013 7:05 am
desperate and a vain attempt by the Pakistani authorities to save the febrile Pakistani Cinema,nonetheless the decision is premised on a very legitimate concern ....
April 24, 2013 7:11 am
Brilliant! Loss of 20 crore from just 2 films. I wonder how much they earn from us. Pakistan first!
Shruti (Indian too)
April 24, 2013 7:43 am
Arey, why should they leave? Why get so offended at Pakistanis wanting to promote their own cinema over another country's? We like Pakistani artists in India for their work and that is unconditional of the business that bolly-wood does in Pakistan. Although I am not sure, if a ban is the best way to bring up the quality of Pakistani movies or chime in the box-office collections? Anyway, let laws of economics play out its role!
April 24, 2013 7:44 am
I just checked Hina Dilpazir in Google images. and from the expression of the images. I can conclude that she is an excellent actor indeed. But not the rare one. believe me there are tons of actor from Marathi Film Industry, south Indian film industry, Bengali Film Industry which are equal or more talented than Hina.
Shruti (Indian too)
April 24, 2013 7:50 am
I don't know much about Pakistani actors. But I saw Dhoop Chao long back and loved it. But I agree, SRK and Akshay suck :D!! You should watch some Aamir Khan movies though! Also Ranbir Kapoor's and .Vidya Balan's.
Shruti (Indian too)
April 24, 2013 7:54 am
Dhoop Kinare*
April 24, 2013 3:43 pm
Next it will be Brazillian Coffee,Rap Music, what is wrong with these people everyone has the right to choose what they want to watch no so it seems in Pakistan where you are told whta you can watch. If Pakistani films were on par with Indian Films they would not be banning them.
April 24, 2013 3:15 pm
each artist is unique and there need not have to be one more atif aslam or ali zafar just the way you cannot have a lata mangeshkar or amitabh bachchan. be happy for the hospitality ur stars are receiving here.
April 24, 2013 3:13 pm
quoting from somewhere: Pakistan can never grow out of India's shadow in any field let alone film industry. but India has moved on and need not have to look at Pakistan for identity. never did.
April 24, 2013 3:25 pm
its nice to promote ourselves, but not only in the field of ShowBizz, but also in each and every field we should be a Pakistani....
April 24, 2013 1:20 pm
You see, we can always have a debate without being disrespectful and vulgar.That is the true indication of level of maturity one possesses and how you set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd.There have been some poor comments from both sides and it only leads to hatred and ill will.In addition, level of acceptance plays a big part.As an Indian, I do agree that majority of the movies made today in Bollywood are without substance and border on vulgarity with some exceptions off course.I also do acknowledge and accept that Pakistani artists like NFK, Abida Parveen are a class apart.In the same token, Pakistani people have to accept that their cinema has a long way to go before it gets on par with Indian cinema.Why is it so difficult to accept the reality of things?But people like you do give me hope.So thank you for sharing your thoughts.
raja hindustani
April 24, 2013 5:51 pm
Good business opportunity for Pirated CD maker ;)
Shruti (Indian too)
April 24, 2013 8:05 pm
Oh c'mon Saad! We respect their talent, but don't underestimate the talent that India already has. A sign of a mature art industry is that brings together talents from far and wide into creating genius! That's where India's movie/music industry is heading! That's what happens in much of Hollywood and the western music scene. Padit Ravi Shankar and Beatles are just one case in point. Similarly in Indian art industry there are influences from the far west and far east and everything in between. Pakistan is more represented, because you are neighbors and more similar to us in your artistic expressions. And we are still in early stages of what shall grow on to become a more diverse and unified art-industry. Infact off-late a lot of folk and classical influences are being incorporated, which earlier hardly had any place in bollywood songs. So stop saying such ego-driven arrogant and illogical statements.
raja hindustani
April 24, 2013 5:59 pm
Its Election Time in Pakistan...!!!!
Shruti (Indian too)
April 24, 2013 8:15 pm
Agree! But I think movies are business. Hollywood is increasingly increasing shoots in India and including Indian actors. Reason mostly is that India is becoming a bigger market for them and Indians would watch the movies more if Indian actors are cast. Same is why Pakistani artists are many a times included. Of-course another reason is that they do bring new talent So if Pakistan stops airing Indian movies, my guess is Pakistanis would not get roles as much. Except for those artists who bring something new and something that can have a potential demand.So what you are saying might happen, but not driven by ego-moves as much as by fundamental laws of demand-supply.
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