After Indian Air Force (IAF) attacked Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terror camp in Balakot, the Pakistani Information minister Fawad Chaudhry responded to this by a total ban on Indian movies. “Cinema Exhibitors Association has boycotted Indian content, no Indian Movie ll be released in Pakistan. Also have instructed PEMRA to act against Made in India Advertisements,” tweeted Chaudhry.
Cinema Exhibitors Association has boycotted Indian content, no Indian Movie ll be released in Pakistan. Also have instructed PEMRA to act against Made in India Advertisements. #PakistanTayarHai https://t.co/9BPo6LIsVB
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) February 26, 2019
“Pakistan has close to 170 viable screens. It’s a very small market as compared to India. Bollywood and local films are the main content forms that are screened in the country. Banning Bollywood films will mean a paucity of content to keep the multiplexes and theatres running profitably,” said an expert. The number of screens in India is around 9,000 which is 53 times more than that of Pakistan. PVR, the largest multiplex chain in India has 748 screens across the country which is almost five times more than Pakistan.
Moreover, Pakistani estimates suggest the country makes more than 50 percent of their revenue from Indian films. The multiplexes of Pakistan are reliant on Bollywood for their revenue and therefore the ban is a big setback for them. The ban will also hurt Pakistani film industry which was in revival mode in last few years. Cinema owners go in huge loss whenever Indian films are banned in the country. KGF, a popular Kannada movie starring Yash has witnessed houseful shows in Pakistan and brought huge profit to the coffers of exhibitors. Sultan, Salman Khan starring wrestling drama made 11.6 crore rupees in Pakistan which is more than any domestic or Hollywood movie ever earned in the country. The local film industry is in a very immature stage and as per experts only 2 out of 20 locally produced films are able to make money which makes the Cineplex owners heavily reliant on Bollywood and Hollywood.
The ban on Indian movies will matter very little to the Indian producers as Pakistan is very small market. The total business of the Pakistani film industry is 55.8 crore rupees and an average Indian film grosses 4 to 5 crore rupees for a lifetime in Pakistani market. “Studios make money by getting a collection of 40-45 percent of ticket sales from any multiplex. There are certain markets which are not part of the business and only come on the radar when a film’s collections are under-reported. Pakistan is one such market. Hence, filmmakers do not put such markets in the equation of their revenues” said an expert.
The overseas market of Indian film industry amounts 2,500 crore rupees of which Pakistan accounts for only 30 crore rupees. The Pakistani market accounts for only 1.2 percent of total Indian overseas market as per FICCI-EY 2018 media and entertainment report. The size of Indian film industry is around 10,300 crore rupees compared to 65 crore rupees Pakistani film industry. Therefore Indian film industry is 158 times bigger than the film market of Pakistan. Many Indian movies of big production houses have much larger budget than the size of Pakistani film industry. 2.0, a Tamil language film starring South superstar Rajinikanth has a total budget of 543 crore rupees budget which is 8 times larger than the Film industry of Pakistan.
There are more Indian films being exhibited in Pakistan than the total number of films produced by them. In last year, Pakistan exhibited 21 domestically produced films while 41 Indian films were exhibited in the country. India produced 1813 films in different languages as per the Film Federation of India. The ban on exhibition of Indian films will not impact the Indian film industry but the cinema in Pakistan is in for a drastic decline.