Two Pakistani films Sherdil and Laal Kabootar faced off in the cinemas this week, and predictably the patriotic air force film starring Mikaal Zulfikar and Hassan Niazi is ruling the box office.
Box office portal EntertainmentPk puts Sherdil's earnings from Friday, March 22 to Wednesday, March 27 at Rs5.63crores while Laal Kabootar trailed behind at Rs1.16crores.
Speaking to Images, producer Nomaan Khan estimates that the film had crossed Rs6 crores by Thursday. Cinema owner Nadeem Mandviwala noted that the film "has taken a wonderful start for a non-holiday release and is the highest grosser of 2019 so far".
When asked how he expects Sherdil to fare with the release of Project Ghazi today, Nomaan Khan appeared unperturbed. "I welcome Project Ghazi and wish it all the success. If any Pakistani film does well, I understand that it means one more cinema."
"[As far as Sherdil is concerned], we hope to do even better in this week because the word has been spread far and wide. Even now, I've been told that the film is enjoying 80% occupancy in its screens when it typically drops down to 40% in the first week."
As for Laal Kabootar, producers Hania and Kamil Chima say they're proud of their film generating positive word of mouth, "As a small film the strongest marketing tool at our behest is actually our customer. People walking out of the cinema after watching our film have been highly recommending it to friends and family, be it on social media or otherwise. Where other films can spend big on marketing, our focus has been on presenting a product that markets itself. Our box office has shown very stable numbers over the course of the first week. And so we are excited to move into the second week to see how well we continue to perform."
About their upcoming competitor Project Ghazi, they said, "We are quite hopeful that Project Ghazi will bring in a fresh batch of people to the cinema this week and keep the cinema going culture alive. Because without footfall all films will suffer."