As Bilal Lashari"s The Legend of Maula Jatt continues its record-breaking release despite more than half of Pakistan"s theaters not screening the film, distributor Nadeem Mandviwalla has responded to speculation of a rift between his company Mandviwalla Entertainment and key exhibitors in the country.
During a press conference in Karachi on Thursday, October 20, 2022, the CEO of Mandviwalla Entertainment said that he had given several strategies to theater owners before the release of Lashari"s magnum opus, assuring them that it would not "disrupt". the way they do their business".
Mandviwalla said that in his plans, he asked theater owners to increase ticket prices only for the first 11 days of the film"s release in theaters, in an attempt to ensure a small percentage increase in payouts for the film"s producers, who he said had delivered a stellar big-budget film.
He explained, “Generally, whenever mega productions are released, theater owners or groups support such films by providing multiple screening screens to maximize box office collections in the first fortnight.
“Alternatively, where screens are not available, admission is increased and a higher percentage of the box office is shared with distributors. The aim is to aid the collection of films in the initial period and to support distributors and producers without sacrificing the income of the exhibitor. A win for all.”
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Mandviwalla added: "Unfortunately, some film groups in Pakistan have chosen not to go the extra mile and support Pakistan"s costliest production yet, justifying their decision not to do so by distorting the facts."
"I"m here to present all the facts and figures so you understand the situation and the economics surrounding it, and I"m happy to answer any questions."
He also shared two different strategy options that he presented to the exhibitors and said that he then gave them the final choice between the two options; according to Mandviwalla, his sole task was to convince exhibitors of the need to maximize producers" profits.
“Out of the six big players in cinema, three agreed with the strategies given to them and three did not, which is their right,” Mandviwalla said, before explaining, “There are 38 cinema owners in Pakistan, of which about 32-34 were on board with our proposed options. But when the last four asked for flexibility, we were stuck.”
“We made a commitment to those we made a deal with that we would get everyone on the same page, so when these four refused, it meant we would have to go back on our commitment with the others, which ultimately meant huge losses not only for us , but also the producers,” explained Mandviwalla.
Mandviwalla also categorically dissociated himself from rumors of an impasse or a dispute between the distributor and theater owners, saying, "I have nothing to do with these speculations... I have only made a strategy for the producers of the film... This is not my film, I do not own it nor I cannot judge for its creator.
“I presented my strategic plans to the producers, they chose the one they wanted to go forward with, and that"s what we did. It was never our intention to harm the business of others or make decisions for them,” concluded Mandviwalla.
Earlier this week, the Encyclomedia and Lashari co-production in association with AAA Motion Pictures and its distributors Mandviwalla Entertainment (Pakistan) and Moviegoers Entertainment (Overseas) announced the release of The Legend of Maula Jatt in both domestic and overseas markets.
Pakistan"s biggest Punjabi language film ever made collections of Rs 510 crore in its opening weekend.