The Legend of Maula Jatt headlined by Fawad Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi and Mahira Khan is by far the most expensive film to come out of Pakistan. The film opened to packed houses on October 13th and continues to earn over 200 crores globally.
In December 2022, Pinkvilla reported that Bilal Lashari’s blockbuster was set to release in India on December 30th after gaining massive appreciation from countries worldwide.
However, Hindustan Times has reported that the film will not release in India. It was earlier speculated that the Pakistani film’s screening has been stalled indefinitely.
“We have been informed by the distributors that the film’s release has been postponed. We were told this two-three days ago. No further date has been shared with us,” a PTI report quoted an INOX official as saying.
The official added, “Zee Studios had acquired the rights of The Legend of Maula Jatt as they were expecting the film to do well. But because of the resistance from certain sections, the decision was made to not release the movie.”
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader and president of their cinema wing Ameya Khopkar tweeted about the cancellation of the release of The Legend of Maula Jatt and wrote, “Impact Of Raj Thackeray’s Warning! After the warning given by MNS, the screening of the Pakistani film ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ has now been completely cancelled. Not only in the state but also anywhere in the country, this film will not be released anymore.”
He added, “Again, if anyone has feelings of love for Pakistani artists, then this one warning is enough for them. Heartfelt congratulations to all my colleagues for this victory of the MNS movement.”
Previously, Bollywood Hungama had reported that the release has been stalled for the unforeseeable future. A source close to the development revealed, “Zee Studios had already acquired a clearance for The Legend Of Maula Jatt from the Central Board of Film Certification. But on Monday the CBFC recalled the film.”
Since 2019, there has been a cultural exchange ban between both India and Pakistan. But still, some of India’s Punjabi films managed to release in Pakistan.
Bilal Lashari’s directorial film has set high records not only in domestic cinemas but also in America, Europe and Gulf markets.
Previously, Jawani Phir Nahi Aani 2 was the highest-grossing film in Pakistan that earned PKR 73 crore globally. But The Legend of Maula Jatt has tripled up those numbers.
Initial Release Issues In Pakistan
Several cinema owners initially refused to screen the film due to a clash with the makers over commissioning ratios. Journalist Hassan Choudary shed light on the matter on Twitter.
Film’s producer Ammara Hikmat exclusively confirmed to The Current that the news is factual.
According to theatre owners, the makers and distributors of movies have been requesting more money than was specified in the contract. Film distributors and producers are asking for more money than was specified in the contract.
In an official statement, Nueplex Cinemas have shared that they are not screening the film due to their exhibition terms, which are beyond the industry norms. Apparently, the film distributors are asking for more shares than what is considered normal in Lollywood.
Actor Syed Jibran called it a “deadlock” and said the distributor’s demand to increase ticket prices for a larger share was “very unwise” and a bad step. The Ghabrana Nahi Hai star took to Twitter on Friday and wrote that the deadlock happening at the moment for The Legend of Maula Jatt is between distributor Nadeem Mandviwalla and officials of Cinepax cinemas and Nueplex.
Jibran suggested that instead of increasing the price, it should’ve been reduced to Rs800 instead of Rs1,200 or more so that revenues “go through the roof”.
“Increasing the ticket price they are just decreasing the repeat customers. It’s short-sightedness. Plain and simple. This will badly damage the reputation as well as a chance to create a historic box office first day score for the film,” he reasoned.
The actor added that of 122 screens in Pakistan almost 50 of the main multiplex screens have not yet released any schedule for The Legend of Maula Jatt a day after the film’s release, which he called “the most important trend setting first day of the film”.
He called it a bad decision on the distributor’s part and demanded that the problem be resolved as soon as possible otherwise no one else could be blamed for the “underperformance of probably the greatest film of Pakistan ever made” other than ourselves.
After two weeks of the film’s release, the screening issues were resolved, nationwide.