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Pakistani filmmakers irked by Dr Strange release


Members of Pakistan’s film fraternity held a press conference at Arts Council this past weekend to protest the local release of Marvel’s latest Dr Strange installment. The press conference included Chakkar producers Nida Yasir and Yasir Nawaz, Parde Mein Rehna Do producer Wajahat Rauf, and Dum Mastam producer Adnan Siddiqui. Actor Javed Sheikh was also present, alongside other notable individuals from the industry.

This Eid saw the release of four Pakistani films, most of which have been in production for several years and were delayed due to the pandemic. According to trade analyst Ali Zain, local films performed well during the three days of Eid and generated over PKR 90 million in revenue. As per Rauf, all four films were sold out during primetime slots.

The fourth day of Eid saw the release of Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Predictably, the movie was received well by audiences with most cinemas operating close to full capacity in all slots. The film quickly sidelined local releases and cinema houses replaced their slots with Dr Strange.

Speaking at the press conference on Saturday, the film’s producers explained that they had asked cinemas to delay the release of Dr Strange by a week. Cinemas did not comply with this request. The producers stressed that this compromises the local film industry and reduces revenues.

The speakers demanded that cinemas give homegrown movies a chance to thrive rather than promoting “imported” films. While they acknowledged the value of foreign films in reviving cinema attendance post-Covid, they stated that Dr Strange’s release could easily be delayed by a mere week.

Social media is divided over the issue. Many people, including influencers and actors Arslan Naseer and Dananeer Mobeen, lamented the release of Dr Strange.

 

However, others felt that producers should make films that are more appealing to audiences.





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