The tense political feud between India and Pakistan is taking a toll on the film industry.
Pakistan has halted the screening of Bollywood movies in theatres across the country, forcing the nation’s largest chain, Cinepax Cinemas, to show reruns of old Pakistani films. Even before the current political standoff, the cinema chain was offering discounts of as much as 40 per cent on tickets to attract more customers.
Bollywood movies, with their often three-hour song-and-dance formats, are popular in Pakistan, accounting for about 60 per cent of total cinema consumption, according to Rafay Mahmood, culture editor at The Express Tribune. Hollywood movies and films produced by Pakistan’s industry, known as Lollywood, make up the rest.
Cinemas are “experiencing its lowest footfall” after the ban, said Syed Mubashir Imam, chief executive officer of Karachi-based Media City Productions Pvt., a television production company. “Let’s see how they tackle it. It is indeed a challenge for them and not an easy task.”
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