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<i>Mughal-e-Azam</i> doing well in Pak

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): Refuting reports that the colour version of the 60s classic Mughal-e-Azam was running to empty houses in Gulistan theatre in Lahore where it released on April 24, the makers of the film today said the film was doing above average business. Sources close to Akbar Asif, son of the late K Asif, told UNI that though the film picked up slowly in the first week of its release, the charm of the classic, coupled with the brilliant techniques used in its colourisation and imparting it a modern look, had, from the second week itself, begun drawing crowds to the theatre.

''One must remember that for many of the people, specially of the older generation, Mughal-e-Azam is not a new film. Infact, it is a film many of them must have seen when it originally released in the 60s. So, initially it is only the younger generation that came to the theatres to watch the film.

However, once the magnificence of the film and its modern and colourised look held them enthrall, word spread of the "out of the world" experience provided by the film, drawing people from the older generation to the theatres,'' Dipesh Salgia of Sterling Investment coporation, the right holders of the film, told UNI.

Media reports earlier this week had said Mughal-e-Azam had met with a lukewarm response from the Pakistani audience ever since its release in Gulistan cinema hall in Lahore on April 24.

For many of the people of the 60s generation who have seen the film in its "Black and White" avataar, the "new look" Mughal-e-Azam, having a fully colourised look and songs and dialogues re-recorded in stereophonic sound and Dolby Digital, is proving to be an altogether new experience, Salgia said. ''All of them are re-experiencing the grandeur of the magnum opus anew. Apart from these people, the word-of-mouth publicity is also bringing many other people to the theatres out of the curiousity to experience the first hand magnificance of the film,''Salgia said.

Expressing confidence that the tremendous euphoria for the film would translate into excellent collections when the film releases in 30 cinema halls across the country, Salgia said,''I am sure the film will prove to be a smash hit in Pakistan when it releases all across the neighbouring country. On the one hand, the younger generation will watch it for its grandeur and its magnificence about which they would have heard from their grandparents while on the other the elders will watch it to experience the "colourisation experience" The exact collections of the film would, however, only be available by month end when Nadeem Mandviwala, the distributor of the film, arrives in Mumbai.

Trade sources say a film like Mughal-E-Azam has the potential to generate nearly Rs 50 crore in Pakistan, double the amount it generated from India.

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