Pakistan's Mahira Khan vs India's Salman Khan in UAE Eid showdown
This is not a clash of Titans, but we are enjoying a resilient underdog taking on 'the favourite' - case in hand Mahira Khan’s clash with Salman Khan.
Mahira Khan stepped into Pakistan’s entertainment business with a courageous role in the film 'Bol' in 2011.
She managed to win over Pakistani audiences with tele-dramas such as 'Neeyat', 'Humsafar', 'Sherhr-e-Zaat' and 'Sadqay Tumhare'.
Now, this fastidious actress is venturing into Indian Hindi film industry starring opposite superstar Shah Rukh Khan in 'Raees'.
She has already established herself in India, thanks to her TV series and she now hopes to woo them with her movie.
This Eid, Mahira is doing something many actors would not want to do - a head-on collision with Salman Khan.
Yes, that’s right.
The actress is ready to release her Pakistani production 'Bin Roye' on the same day as box office giant Salman’s 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'.
So why did the marketing team gamble with 'Bin Roye's' fate?
"When you have good content in hand, all you need to do is create enough buzz to ensure that your target audience is aware of its release," says Ravi Mansukhlal, Marketing Manager of Vox cinemas Mena region.
Talking about the marketing plan Ravi says, "Get enough visibility and confirm optimum number of screens at the right locations.
"Our strategy is to go grass-root level to market 'Bin Roye'. We are extremely confident because it is one of the finest and entertaining films of 2015 and it happens to be produced in Pakistan."
'Bin Roye' and 'Bajranji Bhaijaan' to release on July 16 in UAE. In Pakistan, India, USA, Canada and the UK both movies will likely hit the theatres on July 17.
Mahira and her co-stars Humayun Sayeed, Armeena Rana Khan, Zeba Bakhtiar and Javed Sheikh are on an intense promotional drive.
A couple of weeks ago the cast were here in Dubai to launch the music of the movie.
Vox cinemas will hold the premiere of 'Bin Roye' in the UAE on July 15 in the presence of the entire cast and crew.
Partly shot in the UAE, the film's trailer received a good response from fans and advance tickets sales are now open here.
Such promotional blitzkrieg by a Pakistani film is unprecedented, but something common with Indian movies.
Ravi Mansukhlal from Vox tells Emirates 247, "In case of Pakistani films, it normally gets released months after the home country.
"It is only natural to think that a film would benefit the most when it's released at the same time to capitalise on the marketing buzz and before piracy eats away a huge share of its business.
"So when the opportunity presented itself to release 'Bin Roye' day-and-date with Pakistan across the Middle East, we decided to fill in those gaps and bring about a change, which will benefit everyone."
The movie will be released in 10 locations in the UAE. It will also be screened in Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.
Distributed by B4U, in India the film is getting almost 100 screens and will be the only film releasing along with ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ on the same festive occasion.
Cashing in on her television popularity, Mahira will promote her movie in India as well.
There have been conflicting reports on the release of 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' in Pakistan. Some distributors are confident of an Eid release, while rumour has it that its release might be delayed in order to accommodate local films ('Bin Roye' and 'Wrong No').
Going by Salman's box office resume, trade analysts have already predicted his film will rule the roost.
Komal Nahta says, "Historic opening assured going by just the first and second trailers."
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, "Expect a hurricane at the box-office this Eid. Another blockbuster on its way!"
Ravi thinks 'Bin Roye' will sustain the Salman pressure at the cash register.
"We know that 'Bin Roye' is a perfect family outing this Eid and it boasts a cast that has a huge fan following in Pakistan.
"The beautiful story and the drama is the backbone of the film and we're confident that audiences across the region will be be thoroughly entertained," he explains.
'Bin Roye' (Without Crying) is directed by Momina Duraid and Shahzad Kashmiri.
The movie is based on the best-seller 'Bin Roye Ansoo' by Farhat Ishtiaq. The novel is about two sisters whose loyalties to each other are tested by a man.
In Pakistan, Mahira is one of the finest actresses. The rest of the cast also hold a huge fan base, hence, producers are not worried about the outcome of the movie.
In India too Mahira has become a household name and her entry into Bollywood opposite Shah Rukh Khan is definitely getting everyone more curious about her.
'Bin Roye' may not pose any threat to 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' at the box office, but it will only benefit the Pakistani actress to gain more foothold in a new territory.
With its simultaneous worldwide releases, promotional events the movie ushers in a new chapter in Pakistani film industry.
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