Indian films were seeing good pick in their overseas gross past few years and major chunk of that growth was coming from Pakistan. There was massive growth each year and in 2018 we saw bollywood films hitting PKR 2bn at Pakistan’s box office.
However, bollywood films got banned in 2019 and there came a massive decline in the overseas cume of Hindi films in 2019. In 2018 top 10 grossers had accumulated around $ 125m and out of that $ 15+m came from Pakistan. And this business was when major films failed to live upto the expectations. Shahrukh Khan’s Zero bombed after huge start and same goes for Aamir Khan’s Thugs Of Hindustan. Similarly, Salman Khan’s Race 3 opened late hence it couldn’t live upto the expectations.
However there were other films which compensated with a film like Sanju alone making it close to $ 3m. Simmba did wonders as well by grossing close to $ 1.75m. In 2019 top 10 bollywood films have grossed apprx $ 82m from overseas which is a fall of around 30% compared to 2018.
Now if we take a look at lineup of 2019, then Indian films had a potential of hitting minimum $ 17-18m from Pakistan and if all major films had lived upto the expectations then they could have even hit $ 20m mark. War would have challenged all time numbers of Sanju whereas Kabir Singh could have been a strong contender for $ 2m gross. Salman Khan would have two releases and both could have hit $ 3m combined. Similarly Good Newwz had a massive potential , whereas Total Dhamaal and Housefull 4 would have hit $ 2m combined as well.
Now if we look at content films like Chhichore, Dream Girl, Badla and others then these films would have added huge numbers as well. Interestingly, in 2019 bollywood could have made impact in Pakistan without Khans. Each year we see films of Khans leading in Pakistan and contributing the most in the yearly gross. However, in 2019 Bollywood could have hit record gross numbers without any film from Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.
Overall, Bollywood could have hit a record $ 20m mark in Pakistan which would have taken their 2019’s Overseas gross over $ 100m which wouldn’t have looked as bad as $ 82m.
There are much bigger Hindi films lined up for 2020 and if the ban stays then bollywood will loose even bigger number in 2020. Keep an eye out on this space for latest box office trends in Pakistan.