Salman Khan’s much expected Dabangg might not release in Pakistan. The reason? Pakistan’s culture minister, Aftab Shah Jillani, announced recently that no Indian film will be screened across Pakistan during Eid, to boost the flagging local industry. The two annual Eid festivals are usually the most profitable periods of the year for film distributors and cinema hall owners as families throng theatres. Dabangg, in which Salman Khan plays a cop, releases on September 10th this Eid.
But not all support this move by the Pakistan government. Nadeem Mandviwala, a senior official of the Pakistan Film Exhibitors’ Association, protested, saying such protectionist measures alone will not foster the development of the local film industry. Besides, he pointed out, the move will affect cinema hall owners who have invested Rs. 40 crore over the past three years to build new multiplexes and refurbish existing theatres. Many theatre owners earn greater returns during the Eid festival than at any other time of the year, and the lack of quality products is expected to affect their profitability.