Bollywood’s biggest all time classic SHOLAY opened to a lukewarm response in Pakistan taking not only the cinema owners and distributers by surprise but even the media that was expecting the maverick western curry to replicate the magic that SHOLAY had created 40 years back in India!
SHOLAY was released on April 17 all over Pakistan in 2D and 3D version but surprisingly the movie failed to attract audience with cinema halls registering as low as 15 percent occupancy!
Lamenting at the film’s poor opening Ali Chaudhry, Director Operations, Cinestar, the biggest theatre in Punjab said, “Since SHOLAY is a classic hence we had taken precautionary steps by releasing it in just three screens in Lahore and Multan and that too at Prime Time shows of 8 pm and 10 pm shows but alas the movie proved a dumb squib.” A dejected Ali Chaudhry, added, “If on Friday, a holiday, it is not doing well, we don't hold out much hope of box-office collections picking up on Saturday and Sunday.”
What is astonishing is that the movie not only failed to impress the movie buffs in cinema houses but the movie even left the crème de la crème audience dejected, who had attended the premier with utter excitement and fervor at Karachi's Atrium Cinemas on Thursday night.
According to a local newspaper the screen went black when the villain Gabbar orders Basanti to dance and seconds later the audio died out too. He said, “The movie was stopped twice due to technical snag and it killed all the enthusiasm of the viewers!”
Readers may note SHOLAY is India’s first movie that broke all box office records and run uninterrupted for five long years at Mumbai’s Minerva theater, until the record was broken by Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol starrer, DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE which is incidentally the next film to make its way to Pakistan this year.!!