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Salman Khan has a global fan base and his films are loved by one and all. So when media reports came out saying that Salman’s Tubelight may not release in Pakistan, his fans across the border were heart-broken. But before we jump to conclusions, is Tubelight — which sees Salman Khan and Sohail Khan playing brothers — really not coming out in Pakistan? Indianexpress.com contacted Amar Bhutala, COO of Salman Khan Films. who said that the Kabir Khan directorial will release in Pakistan.
Bhutala said, “It is not true, Tubelight will definitely release in Pakistan too but I cannot confirm a release date.” However, he refused to confirm the date on which Tubelight will release in the country. It comes out on June 23 in India and is an Eid release. In a statement later, Amar added, “Salman Khan Films is committed to taking Tubelight to markets across the globe with our overseas distributors Yash Raj Films. Salman has a huge following in Pakistan, which has only grown with the positive messaging on Bajrangi Bhaijaan. We hope to release Tubelight in Pakistan as well, and our efforts continue in that direction, but we respect the law of the land and judiciary if they decide otherwise.”
The reason why Tubelight may not release on June 23 in Pakistan as the Salman film is likely to pose serious competition to local films release on Eid. Two Pakistani films are slated to release around the same time — Yalghaar that is also getting an international premiere and another titled Sharaba.
Hirachand Dand, President of Indian Film Exporters Association said, “Of what I am hearing from the market sources Pakistani filmmakers are quite keen on protecting their films so that are trying not to have Tubelight release on Eid, when two other Pakistani films – Shor Sharaba and Yalghaar are releasing. There are chances that Tubelight will release on July 7. But as of now, it’s certain that the movie will not release on Eid in Pakistan. Tubelight is yet to be submitted to Pakistani censor board so, what eventually happens is yet to be seen.
Filmmakers in Pakistan want to safeguard their own interest against Salman’s massive popularity in Pakistan. If Tubelight indeed comes out on the same day, local films are likely to suffer.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association Chairman, Zohraiz Lashari told PTI that “pricing issue” is a hurdle in importing Tubelight.
“They are asking for a big price to import Tubelight (in Pakistan),” he said. On whether the film will get the censor board approval, he said, “I don’t see that the censor board will have an issue with Tubelight because of some content related to China. The issue is who will take a chance here to buy it for a big price.”
So for now, all Salman Khan fans in Pakistan will be happy to know that their Indian superstar’s upcoming film will release there but probably with a delay. Salman Khan’s last few movies were also released in Pakistan smoothly and were received warmly.