Yash-starrer Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) has become the first Kannada film to breach the India-Pakistan border. The film got a commercial release in Pakistan, which comes as a boost along with its commercial success at the Indian box office. Although usually screened widely in the Gulf countries, south Indian language films usually do not enjoy a following in Pakistan, and hardly see a commercial release.
“The film was released on Friday in Pakistan and from the executive producer, we hear that it is running well. They have released the Hindi dubbed version of the movie and it is being received well across several multiplexes in Lahore and Islamabad. We understand it is doing quite well, although the distributors have not shared exact box office collection,” Harish Mallya, a film reviewer and one of the organisers of the Bangalore Film Festival, told TNM.
“There is a lot of appreciation and almost a similar form of interest that was noticed in rest of the country,” he added, “This is the first Kannada film getting screened in Pakistan officially. Before this, there was a talk about Pawan Kumar’s Lucia being released but eventually it was restricted only to film festivals.”
The last notable south Indian film that was released in Pakistan was Rajinikanth's 2.0.
Chennai-based Sreedhar Pillai, noted box office tracker and film writer told TNM, “The first half of KGF was set in Mumbai. So it has a north Indian connect. Nativity matters in films that are dubbed. A south Indian village-based subject might not do well if it is dubbed in north India. Also the subject of mining is something that people in Pakistan too can connect with. And the film has plenty of action, which is a universal favourite."
The much-talked about and big budget period drama that traces the fortunes of a gangster over decades released in over 400 theatres in Karnataka and in over 2,400 theatres in India. It became the first Kannada movie to bag more than Rs 200 crore in box office earnings, that too in a period of less than a month.
Even in the US, the film had remained in screens for more than three weeks and earned more than a $1 million. After Baahubali, 2.0 and Baahubali 2, this was also the fourth greatest earner for a dubbed Hindi film in India.
The trailer itself was released in five languages including Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.
(Inputs by Anjana Sekhar)