The release of Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has stirred a debate in Pakistan. With 5 Pakistani films having been released on Eid (days before Dr. Strange), filmmakers are irked by this decision and argue that its release could’ve been delayed for a few days. Pakistani Eid films aren’t doing that well and filmmakers, as well as actors, blame it on the decision to release Dr. Strange in Pakistan while they were already 5 local films running in cinemas across Pakistan.
So what’s the debate? The majority of the Pakistani audience is of the view that our films’ content needs to improve, we need to move beyond typical love stories and work on better scripts. Whereas, actors and filmmakers are disappointed that our industry was revived after 2 years only to be hijacked by a foreign film.
Local Film vs Foreign Film Debate
“Producers fixate on Eid releases & shoot themselves in the foot. Why are 4 (not even counting that last one) films released on the SAME day?! Only 1, max 2, can succeed. Can anything really be a HIT? Producers need to get plan better. Also yes, stronger content.”
“They are introducing multiverse in dr strange and you are still stuck on typical pyar muhabbat wali stories, same situation going on with Bollywood,stop making excuses do something new log khud aayein ge dekhne”
“Sub ko Doctor Strange se masla hai…apna content theek karne ka nai pata kisi ko??? #pakistanifilms“
“This is the generation of Netflix and Amazon Prime. They watch Breaking Bad, Money heist, and Strange things like series and movies. Also, Marvel is a big company and fans follow every character personally and wait for the movies for years.”
“Stand with quality content, not Pakistani filmmakers. Our industry will only thrive if we’re not churning out one Bollywood knockoff after the other.”
“You can’t force public to watch your movies. If there is a better movie then people deserve to watch it. They are spending money to get entertained, they are not responsible for producer’s loss.”
Filmmakers & Actors Express Their Disappointment
“Releasing Doctor Strange could have waited for a few days. The last thing we need when the industry is finally opening up after two years is some foreign film hijacking our screens and relegating us in a corner. Home grown cinema has more right any day.”
“Putting up a foreign film when there are 5 good pak films going housefull, WHY?!Pak cinema revives after decades, gets damaged by a pandemic & then just as its about to restart a foreign film is released WHY?! Lets find a good reason why it couldn’t be delayed by a few days WHY?!”
“In these difficult times post covid , I stand with all the Pakistani films makers who despite all the difficulties had the courage to come up with their movies and request the cinema owners not to prefer foreign content over local.”
“How Strange ,Dr Strange! my thoughts on what has happened to not just #Dummastam but the 5 films from Pakistan released this Eid. Pakistan wants its audience more then ever before.Industry needs to act “1 Unit”
While it is true that our industry has a long way to go in terms of content and story-telling, slowly but surely, things are evolving. Take Javed Iqbal and Zindagi Tamasha as an example. When filmmakers branch out from the “typical love stories”, their films never see the light of day. So is it really our content that’s an issue or are we as a nation not ready to watch something out of the box? (only if it’s local, mind you).
Having said that, the movie up against Pakistani films is an entertainer not only for young adults, and Marvel fans but is also targeted at a market that is not covered by local films currently on air – so should it really have cut so deeply into local films profits unless … the filmmakers need to take a closer look at their content too?
It seems only fair that Pakistani film audiences have some choice in viewing content (with Bollywood films not showing in local cinemas as well). Is it time to step up the competition or cry foul? That, my dear Watson, is the million-dollar question!
Which side are you on? Tell us your thoughts.