Friday, 14 June 2019

‘Chhalawa’ and ‘Wrong No 2’ take Eid box-office by storm

LAHORE : Wrong No 2 and Chhalawa, the two Urdu films that hit theatres on Eid, have cumulatively earned roughly Rs200 million rupees in the first five days of release, The Express Tribune has learnt. The figures are well beyond what stakeholders had been expecting, especially since local cinema houses have been struggling post the ban on Indian content.

As per insiders, Wrong No 2 has been leading the pack, collecting about Rs110 million so far. Chhalawa is close behind, with Rs90 million, though the exact figures for the Mehwish Hayat-starrer could not be independently.

Everready Group of Companies – which released the film – has not confirmed the numbers. Meanwhile, CEO Distribution Club Sheikh Amjad Rasheed has claimed the earnings for Wrong No 2. “My film has been doing good business and is likely to earn more in the next few days so I am very satisfied. I cannot comment on any of the other films that are competing with it.

Generally, film-makers, distributors and cinema-owners are ecstatic over the audience’s positive response to both releases and have their fingers crossed for even better numbers for the week following Eid.

A total of eight films were released during the festive season – two Urdu, one Punjabi and three Pashto-language productions. Alongside these were global giants like Disney’s Aladdin, X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. But even so, the competition has remained between Wrong No 2 and Chhalawa mainly and families flocked to their nearest cinema-houses to watch both during the five-day Eid weekend.

However, a source at a local distribution company said that both films did equally well in the first three days, until Wrong No 2 got ahead. “Wrong No 2 earned about Rs70 million on the three main Eid days… Rs10.6 million on day one and Rs20 million on day two,” they shared.

“Chhalawa generated similar numbers and was the first choice for most of the public that came in. But both films have been doing well due to their music and romantic stories.”

Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran, chairman of Pakistan Film Distributors Association, added, “We’ve had a fantastic response from the public to both local releases. The business they have generated over Eid has given new hope to Pakistani films in the international film market. In fact, not just the two main Urdu releases but the Punjabi film Sharikay Di Aag has also performed remarkably and we’re all really happy.”

 An official of a local cinema house in Lahore, seeking anonymity, also confirmed that both Wrong No 2 and Chhalawa are going head-to-head in most cinemas across the city.

Sunday, 9 June 2019


Mehwish Hayat starrer Chhalawa has done remarkably well in its first three days. The film got huge boost in terms of footfall due to Eid. The first three days business goes down as the biggest opening for a Wajahat Rauf title.

As per early estimates, the film has hauled in a little under PKR 65 million in the first three days. The film has performed best in Lahore as it was in the lead amongst all Eid releases and that too with a good margin. Similarly, the film has done exceptionally well in Rwp/Isl as it brought in a stonking PKR 9.1 million from the twin cities.

Below is film’s estimated business breakdown in first three days.
Wednesday.. 15 million
 Thursday.. 25 million
Friday.. 24 million
Total.. 64 million

The film saw massive growth on second day of Eid. The film then held well on third day of Eid. With Saturday and Sunday ahead, film will definitely close its extended weekend over staggering 100 million mark.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Chhalawa vs Wrong No 2: Who will score a homerun this Eid?

KARACHI: As Bollywood films continue to be banned, this Eid will primarily revolve around Pakistani and Hollywood films. Apart from Chhalawa and Wrong No 2, Hollywood releases such as Secret Life of Pets 2, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Disney’s Aladdin and Jon Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum will be available in cinemas near you. Marvel’s upcoming offering Dark Phoenix will join the rest a week later on June 14.

Mehwish Hayat and Azfar Rehman’s starrer Chhalawa looks like a typical Masala film, expected to draw some crowds this holiday season. The film’s trailer promises an emotional roller-coaster with a few of those mindless sequences that are known to cheer up the Eid audience. A light-hearted romantic comedy, Chhalawa also stars Ashir Wajahat, Mahmood Aslam and Adnan Shah Tipu.

Acclaimed film-maker Yasir Nawaz’s upcoming venture Wrong No 2 is all set to release this week. Advance booking opened in cinemas across the country a while back and the cast and crew were busy promoting the film with full flare. Since both Wrong No 2 and Chhalawa don’t feature any major superstar pairings, they are expected to give each other a tough time at the box office.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

India finally watched 'Cake' on Netflix and is absolutely loving it!

Asim Abbasi’s debut feature film Cake, starring Aamina Sheikh, Sanam Saeed and Adnan Malik, has captured many hearts in Pakistan over a year ago.

Cake was also Pakistan’s entry for the Oscar’s in the foreign-language category this year, so it’s well worth a watch again and again. The film made its way to Netflix this month and our neighbours finally got a chance to watch Abbasi’s masterpiece. And as expected, they are all praises for the multi-starrer!

Set in Karachi, Cake follows two sisters confronted by old secrets as one lives abroad and the other is ‘left’ behind. They must realise the only way for the family to move forward is by moving back.

‘Wrong No 2’ to release on Eidul Fitr

LAHORE: Acclaimed film-maker Yasir Nawaz’s upcoming venture Wrong No 2 is all set to release on Eidul Fitr. While advance booking has opened across all cinema houses in the country, promotional campaigns by the cast and crew are in full swing too. Trade analysts are predicting a tough box office clash between Wrong No 2 and the Mehwish Hayat-starrer Chhalawa.

Last week, Wrong No 2 stars Sami Khan, Neelum Muneer, Sana Fakhar, Javaid Sheikh and Shafqat Cheema promoted their project in various areas of Karachi. This week they will be carrying out advertisement runs in Lahore and will also make necessary arrangement for the film’s premiere. While the official trailer released in late April, it failed to leave a mark on most viewers. It showed a turbulent romantic comedy between Sami and Neelum’s characters, complete with a lovey-dovey song in the backdrop.

According to cinema owners, Nawaz’s project has already received an overwhelming response in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad during its pre-booking phase. This comes as a relief to stakeholders who were in the midst of financial crisis following the ban on Bollywood films in the country. “We assure the public that Wrong No 2 will be filled with entertainment. Although competition is rife and Chhalawa is releasing on Eidul Fitr too, we are hopeful Yasir Nawaz’s film will dominate cinemas and box office figures,” said a Distribution Club member, requesting anonymity.

“This is purely a family film and the perfect kind to release on Eid. We are releasing the film on more than 100 screens and producers have worked extremely hard on it too. Sami Khan and Neelum Muneer have acted exceptionally well. We remain confident that Wrong No 2 will bring back audiences to cinema houses again,” the insider concluded.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Shahida Mini turns producer to help Pakistani film industry

LAHORE : Local singer Shahida Mini has announced she will be launching a production house in Lahore for the revival of the film industry. The Pride of Performance winner revealed it will be titled SM Productions and besides films, TV dramas will also be made. Work on both fields will begin this year.

Shahida made the announcement at an iftar, in the presence of renowned personalities Nisho Begum, Pervaiz Kaleem, Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran, Sahir Ali Bagga and Sanam Marvi, Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, Shair Miandad and the Raga Boys among others. “Our film industry is undergoing a challenging time and we need films that are at par with international level. I am aiming to build a well-equipped production house and we will be working on films and dramas,” the yesteryear actor told The Express Tribune.

After starring in several hits, Shahida quit her acting career to focus on singing and released multiple albums. Holding around 100 Pakistani films to her credit, she called for the need to include young talent. “I want to promote our culture through these films. There is no shortage of young and aspiring artists in our country and through SM Productions, I will make sure to bring them to the fore. Our industry needs young blood to flourish,” she added.

I had no support: Maya Ali reflects back on showbiz journey

Maya Ali may have delivered one of the biggest Pakistani films of last year but that doesn’t mean the Teefa In Trouble star has forgotten her roots.

In a recent Instagram post, the actor spoke about her very first day on the sets of a TV show and how far she has come since then. “I still remember my first day on television, when I had no support. Maya Ali was just a name. But I was ambitious; I had so many dreams so many thoughts and I knew I had to make my dreams come true,” she wrote.

“I had no idea whatsoever about any fans, not even about social media. Then one day, I went to the market and two girls came to me and asked, ‘Are you Cinderella?’ and I said, ‘No, I am Maya.’ After sometime, I realised that they were talking abut my drama serial,” she went on. “I felt so good and shy at the same time. As time passed and I focused on my acting career, people began to love my work and also criticised it but I was open to all the feedback.”

Maya continued, “Alhamdulillah, today when I saw this post which one of my fans tagged me in, I got goosebumps. My whole acting journey started to play out in front of my eyes.”

The Mann Mayal actor further shared, “I can’t be more thankful to Allah for all the love people shower me with. Thank you for making it happen, thank you for being with me in my bad and good times. Sometimes, I get down and feel low but all your love gives me new hope.

” Maya concluded the note with gratitude and wrote, “Thank you all for your support! I have no words to decide what I should call this but yeah, love you, my squad.”

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

'Durj' will not release in Pakistan first, says Shamoon Abbasi

Shamoon Abbasi’s take on cannibalism in our country is gritty, horrific and bone-chilling. While his upcoming project has finally gotten a release date, this will be the first time a local film will release overseas before hitting screens in Pakistan.

Durj will see the light of day in the UK, US, Canada, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar on October 11.

Talking to The Express Tribune about the decision, Abbasi shared, “Since Durj’s official trailer released, we noticed that a lot of audiences from around the world became interested in watching the film. Many inquired how they could watch it in America, Britain, Canada, UAE and other countries.”

He added, “Many communities and viewers live in different parts of the world. A massive amount of Pakistanis living abroad have also asked me the same questions because they miss the international screenings of our movies.

” Abbasi continued, “We wanted to surprise them by taking the film to their door steps first. This is indeed the first time in Pakistan that a film is primarily releasing abroad and later, in the home country.”

The Waar actor feels Durj is a different film. “The audience will be the judge whether it’s a good film or a bad one. However, we wanted to do something different about its release and now by the grace of God, Durj is getting a global release.

” Among Shamoon and Sherry, Durj also features Myra Khan, Majid Khan and Nouman Javaid in prominent roles. Based on true events, it follows the story of a cannibal on the run, hiding away in a remote desert.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Fawad Khan could very well be our next superhero

After Humayun Saeed, Syra Shahroz and Sheheryar Munawar-starrer, Project Ghazi, it looks like Pakistani film industry is ready to foray into the superhero genre once again. And guess who is leading it into that direction? Fawad Khan!

Yup, you read that right. A picture of Fawad Khan sporting superhero gear has been making rounds on social media and we can’t help but scream out that “we’re onboard!”

Clad in black gear, Khan can be seen with a mustache and spiked hair.

But when will we get to see the next Pakistani superhero film hitting the screens? Well, that’s a question for another day.

Monday, 6 May 2019

'Cake' and other Pakistani films are coming to Netflix

Netflix is one of the most uber-popular ways to relax in this day and age. Rest assured, you will soon be able to watch some recent Pakistani favourites from the comfort of your own home if you missed them on the big screen. Here is a list of great films making their way to Netflix.

Cake Asim Abbasi’s debut feature film starring Aamina Sheikh, Sanam Saeed and Adnan Malik has captured many of our hearts since its release in Pakistani theaters over a year ago. Set in Karachi, the film follows two sisters confronted by old secrets as one lives abroad and one is ‘left’ behind. They must realise the only way for the family to move forward is by moving back.


was also Pakistan’s entry for the Oscar’s in the foreign-language category this year, so it’s well worth to watch again and again. Abbasi also hinted at the Netflix release by sharing a tweet, which could hit our home screens in less than two weeks.

Sadqay Tumhare star Adnan Malik, who plays Romeo in the film, also cheekily hinted at the film’s Netflix release.

Pinky Memsaab

Indie Pakistani film Pinky Memsaab hit cinemas last December and is now available to watch on the streaming platform. The flick takes us on a journey through the lives of gorgeous socialite Mehr (Kiran Malik), a naïve maid called Pinky (Hajra Yamin), driven investment banker Hassan (Adnan Jaffar), and easygoing chauffeur Santosh (Sunny Hinduja). Their stories are interwoven in Dubai and the viewer has to find out why.

Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor

 This is truly exciting because Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor is the first Pakistani animated film to make it to Netflix. The release was well-received by many and is a great film to watch with family. The film premiered in Pakistani cinemas in February 2018 and features the voices of some Pakistani favourites such as Noori-famed Ali Noor, Hareem Farooq and Ali Rehman,

Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor highlights the importance of preservation and respect for wildlife. It takes us into a world of its own, following the adventures of a young hero who embarks on a quest to take on poachers in his hometown. He has friends to help him on his quests such as a markhor named Mehru, as well as a snow leopard and chukar.

The film was screened at the South Asian International Film Festival and also scored an award for Best Feature Film in Audience Choice category. A must watch for both kids and adults.

Friday, 26 April 2019

'Baaji' teaser just dropped and boy, does Meera look glamorous in it!

 Saqib Malik’s upcoming multi-starrer Baaji is one of the most anticipated films of 2019. We’ve been hearing about it for months and now, finally, the team behind the project has dropped its very first teaser! And boy, does Meera look glam in it!

Baaji boasts of a stellar ensemble cast besides Meera, who is making a comeback to the silver screen with a career-defining role in it. Then there is model-turned-actor Amna Ilyas is portraying a struggling star, hoping to make it big.

The male lineup is second to none with Osman Khalid Butt as a director and Mohsin Abbas Haider and Ali Kazmi also bringing their individualities to the screen. Yesteryear stars Nisho and Nayyar Ejaz will also be seen in important supporting roles.

From the looks of it, Baaji promises to be a rollercoaster ride and Meera seems to be owning every frame.

The film is said to be a deeper glimpse into the dark world of showbiz. While Malik wants to delve into the art of storytelling, he also plans to pay homage to the grandeur of cinema of cinema with it.

Baaji, co-written by Irfan Ahmed Urfi and Saqib himself, is exquisitely lensed by renowned director of photography Salman Razzaq. The film’s music includes work by Zeb Bangash, Taha Malik, Jamal Rahman and the maestro of Pakistani cinema Tafu Sahib.

Set against the backdrop of a fading Pakistani showbiz industry and the emergence of a new order in Lollywood, Baaji is sure to leave an imprint and set the screens on fire.

The film’s poster has an intriguing caption too. “Every dream has a price,” it reads. Baaji is slated to release on June 28.

We definitely can’t wait for this one!

Monday, 22 April 2019

'Chhalawa' trailer shows each character's eccentricity

Three weeks after the teaser release of upcoming local film Chhalawa, the official trailer has been revealed.

“Pyari Ammi jaan, aaj to Abbay ne had hi kardi… Kehta hai Jalal Chaudhry se teri shaadi kara dunga. Per mera naam bhi Zoya Rafaqat Chaudhry hai! (Beloved mother, father has crossed all the limits… He says he will get me married off to Jalal Chaudhry. But I am Zoya Rafaqat Chaudhry!)” And there we have the introduction for Mehwish Hayat’s character.

Then we encounter Azfar Rehman, where he’s seen stood in front of his mirror, trying on various (rather outlandish) pieces. He plays Zoya’s love interest and makes his way to Punjab “Bau Jee ka dil jeetne (To win her father’s heart.)”

Zara Noor Abbas’ character is somewhat of a fun-loving drama queen who romances Asad Siddiqui in the film. We see snippets of the title song playing in the background and of Mehwish’s ‘item song’ where she’s seen dancing up a storm clad in a beautiful, elaborate lehenga.

However, although the first half is all fun and games, the trailer gets darker towards the end. We see fights, tears and heartbreak bringing in a bit more depth to the film. It ends on a cliffhanger.

 The film-makers have done a good job at showing each character’s individuality and giving us the story line in a nutshell through the trailer. A light-hearted romantic comedy, Chhalawa also features Ashir Wajahat, Mahmood Aslam and Adnan Shah Tipu.

The film, which is directed, written and produced by Wajahat Rauf will hit cinemas this Eidul Fitr.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Hearing of Petition Against “Legends of Maula Jatt” to be Held on April 25th!

Bilal Lashari’s film “Legends of Maula Jatt” is accused by Sarwar Bhatti the producer of the Punjabi Film “Maula Jatt” which was released in 1979. According to Sarwar Bhatti, Lashari used the title, script, characters, dialogue, poetry and music of the original Maula Jatt without taking permission.

The Lahore High Court admitted the petition and announced that the hearing will be on 25th April. Lahore High Court’s judge Justice Aminuddin considered the petition and Counsel Buzdar Haider stated that the arrangements for the release and publicity for the upcoming film have been completed that’s why we should hear the petition sooner. Hence it will be on April 25, instead of June 6, 2019.

The film Maula Jatt, released in 1979, was a record-breaking film and it is said to be the most successful film of the Pakistani film industry. Though Bilal Claims that his film has nothing to do with the 1979’s Maula Jatt but Sarwar Bhatti’s claims tell a completely different story.

The Legend of Maula Jutt is all set to release this Eid ul Fitr. The cast of the film includes the top-notch actors of Pakistan film industry including Fawad Khan as Maula Jatt and Hamza Ali Abbasi playing the role of Noorinath. These roles were previously played by legendary actors Sultan Rahi and Mustafa Qureshi in Sarwar’s Maula Jatt. The female leads of the film include the famous Mahira Khan and the beautiful Humaima Malik.

Let’s see how the court responds to this matter but we really hope that the issues between Bilal and Sarwat get resolved so that we can see the “The Legends of Maula Jatt” in the cinemas.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Mahira Khan channels Umrao Jaan in 'Paray Hut Love'

Asim Raza’s upcoming rom-com Paray Hut Love stars Sheheryar Munawar and Maya Ali in the lead roles but it also included one very special cameo. Rumours of Mahira Khan making an appearance in the film have been rife for a while now but no one knew what she would be doing therein.

 Well, looks like we finally have an answer. Mahira will be sporting a never-seen-before avatar for a song titled Moray Sayian. The actor recently shared the first look from the song and it looks quite intriguing!

She captioned the clip, “Feeling a lot so I’ll say very little. This is a labour of true love. A glimpse for all of you from me and my Asim Raza.”

From the clip, seems like the she is channeling a very Umrao Jaan look, with a red pishwaas and her back towards the camera.

We can’t wait for the song to be out! Initially, the 51-year-old film-maker had roped in Mahira to play the lead opposite Sheheryar.

However, it was later confirmed that Maya of Mann Mayal fame will be replacing the Bol actor in the film. Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.