‘TLOMJ’ set to become first Pakistani film to release in India

There’s no stopping Bilal Lashari’s The Legend of Maula Jatt. The highest-grossing Pakistani film of all time is now all set to release in India on Friday, reported India Today. The magnum opus, starring Indian fan favourites, Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan, has minted over Rs 220 crores at the box office worldwide. 

While earlier there were rumours of Bilal’s iconic movie to be screened in India’s Punjab, an Indian entertainment company, INOX Leisure, has seemingly confirmed to bring The Legend of Maula Jatt to India. “It will be played in Punjab and a few theatres in Delhi in INOX where there are Punjabi speaking people,” Rajender Singh Jyala, chief programming officer, INOX Leisure Ltd, told PTI.

Multiplex chain PVR Cinemas had shared a release announcement on its official Instagram page but deleted it soon after. “Presenting the official poster of #TheLegendofMaulaJatt! Coming to PVR this Friday,” the post read.

The film will be the first film to release in India’s commercial cinemas after 2011’s Bol. Previously, Ramchand Pakistani starring Nandita Das and Rashid Farooqi in 2008 were also screened in Indian theatres. Shoaib Mansoor’s critically acclaimed film, Khuda Kay Liye, which included Fawad in the ensemble cast alongside Naseeruddin Shah, was released across the border in 2007.

The straining ties between the neighbouring countries have made it nearly impossible to have cordial relationship when it comes to art. While Fawad was last seen in Indian cinemas in Karan Johar’s star-studded offering, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, Mahira made her Bollywood debut with Shah Rukh Khan’s gangster drama, Raees.

Apart from the Humsafar duo, Humaima Malick, who essays unabashed Daro in the film, has also starred in Emraan Hashmi’s 2014 movie, Raja Natwarlal.

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Previously, a source told Bollywood Hungama, “The Legend Of Maula Jatt will be released in India on December 30, 2022. It’ll be the last major release to hit Indian screens. It was released in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world on October 13, 2022, and it has crossed the Rs. 200 crore mark at the worldwide box office. It is the first film from Pakistan to achieve this feat. Hence, a lot of people in India, especially the fans of the lead cast, are looking forward to seeing the film, and it can have healthy box office numbers.”

The source also continued, “Zee Studios is mainly looking at releasing The Legend Of Maula Jatt in Delhi-NCR and Punjab. This is because it’s a Punjabi film and will have the maximum chance in the Northern belt. A clear decision on this aspect will be taken later on.”

An industry expert remarked, “Maybe, Zee can release The Legend Of Maula Jatt on December 30 in the North and a week later, it can release it in the rest of the country once the word of mouth spreads. Or it can go for limited screenings in certain centres like Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru etc. Let’s see how this unique release strategy pans out.”

He also said, “On December 23, it would have faced competition from Cirkus. Next week, there’s only the Hindi version of HIT: The Second Case releasing and it’s not a strong competition. If The Legend Of Maula Jatt works, it can have a healthy run till the release of Pathaan.”

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