Cinema of Pakistan

Cinema of Pakistan
Number of screens 319 (2009)[1]
  Per capita 0.2 per 100,000 (2009)[1]
Main distributors ARY Films
Hum Films
Geo Films
Footprint Entertainment
Distribution Club
Produced feature films[2]
Fictional 15 (55.6%)
Animated 10 (37.0%)

The cinema of Pakistan or Pakistani cinema (Urdu: پاکستانی سنیما) refers to the filmmaking industry in Pakistan. Pakistan is home to several film studios centres, primarily located in its two largest cities - Karachi and Lahore. Pakistani cinema has played an important part in Pakistani culture, and in recent years has begun flourishing again after years of decline, delivering entertainment to audiences in Pakistan and expatriates abroad. Several film industries are based in Pakistan, which tend to be regional and niche in nature. Over 10,000 Urdu feature-films have been produced in Pakistan since 1948, as well as over 8000 Punjabi, 6000 Pashto and 2000 Sindhi feature-length films. The first film ever produced was Husn Ka Daku in 1930, directed by Abdur Rashid Kardar in Lahore. The first Pakistani-film produced was Teri Yaad, directed by Daud Chand in 1948. Between 1947 to 2007, Pakistani cinema was based in Lahore, home to the nation's largest film industry (nicknamed Lollywood). Pakistani films during this period attracted large audiences, had a strong cult following, was part of the cultural mainstream, widely available and imitated by the masses. However, between 1977 to 2007, the film industry of Pakistan went into decline due to Islamization, strengthening of censorship laws and an overall lack of quality. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the film industry went through several periods of ups and downs, a reflection of its dependency on state funding and incentives. By 2000, the film industry in Lahore had collapsed and saw a gradual shift of Pakistani actors, actresses, producers and filmmakers from Lahore to Karachi. By 2007, the wounds of Pakistan's collapsed film industry began to heal and Karachi had cemented itself as the centre of Pakistani cinema. Quality and new technology led to an explosion of alternative form of Pakistani cinema. The shift has been seen by many as the leading cause for the "resurgence of Pakistani cinema".[3] Despite the industry crisis starting in the mid-1980s, Pakistani films have retained much of its distinctive identity. Since the shift to Karachi, Pakistani films have once again began attracting a strong cult following.[4]


Silent era (1929-1946)

Abdur Rashid Kardar opened Playart Phototone in 1929, leading the way for other film studios to open in Lahore.
Teri Yaad was the first Pakistani film released in 1948.

The history of cinema in Pakistan began in 1929, when Abdur Rashid Kardar set up a studio and production company under the name of United Players Corporation (later renamed Playart Phototone), which would become the foundation stone for the Lahore film industry.[5] After scouting for locations, he settled for their offices to be established at Ravi Road. The dim-lit area presented with much difficulties and shootings were only possible in the day-light, but nevertheless the area had some very important landmarks like the Ravi Forest and the tombs of Mughal emperor Jahangir and his wife Noor Jahan.[5] It is reported that the team working at the studios would commute on tangas and even lost equipment once while traveling on the bumpy roads on the horse-drawn carriage.[5] However basic and crude their working conditions, Kardar believed in his work and in 1930 he produced the first silent film in Lahore Husn Ka Daku (Mysterious Eagle), under his studio's banner.[6][7] The film had mild success at cinemas, but prominently established Lahore as a functioning film industry. Kardar vowed on not acting in any other film and instead focusing on direction.[5] Immediately afterwards, the studio released the film Sarfarosh (Brave Heart) in 1931, with Gul Hamid playing the lead role with more or less the same cast as in the previous film. This production proved equally appealing, but was able to stir noise about the Lahore film industry. Roop Lal Shori, who was a resident of Brandreth Road in Lahore, upon hearing of Lahore's growing film industry, returned to his hometown and produced Qismat Ke Haer Pher (Life After Death) in 1932, which would firmly ground the film industry in Lahore.[5] In 1946, Sajjad Gul set up Evernew Studios in on Multan Road. The following year, Eveready Pictures was established by J.C. Anand, which would go on to become the largest film production and distribution company in Pakistan.

Independence and growth (1947–1958)

Jago Hua Savera, directed by A. J. Kardar was selected as the Pakistani entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 32nd Academy Awards and the 1st Moscow International Film Festival, where it won a Golden Medal.[8]

Following Pakistan's independence from Britain in 1947, Lahore became the hub of film making in Pakistan.[9] There was a shortage of funds and filming equipment which initially paralyzed the film industry. With hardships faced, the first Pakistani feature film, Teri Yaad released on 7 August 1948,[10] premiering at the Parbhat Theatre in Lahore.[11] Over the next few years, films that were released reached mediocre success until the release of Do Ansoo on 7 April 1950. Do Ansoo became the first film to attain a 25-week viewing, making it the first film to reach silver jubilee status. Recovery was evident with Noor Jehan's directorial debut Chanwey releasing on 29 April 1951. The film became the first to be directed by a female director. Syed Faqir Ahmad Shah produced his first production Jagga Daku in 1954. Saqlain Rizvi was the director, however the film could did not do well at the box office, due to the excessive violence shown in it. As cinema viewership increased, Sassi released on 3 June 1954 by Eveready Pictures. It reached golden jubilee status by staying on the screens for 50-weeks. Legendary playback singer Ahmed Rushdi started his career in April 1955, after singing his first song in Pakistan Bander Road Se Kemari. Umar Marvi released a film on 12 March 1956, and became the first Pakistani film made in the Sindhi language. To celebrate the success of these endeavors, film journalist Ilyas Rashidi launched an annual awarding event on 17 July 1958.[12] Named the Nigar Awards, the event has been considered Pakistan's premier award in film making, celebrating outstanding performance in various categories.[13]

Nayyar Sultana, popularly known as Malka-i-Jazbaat, became one of the most popular actresses of the golden age of Pakistani cinema.

The Golden Age (1959–1977)

Waheed Murad was a famous Pakistani actor, producer and script writer, famous for his charming expressions, attractive personality, tender voice and talent for acting. He is often referred to as the Chocolate Hero.

The '60s decade is often cited as being the "golden age" of cinema in Pakistan. Many A-stars were introduced in this period in time and became legends on the silver screen. As black-and-white films became obsolete, Pakistan saw the introduction of its first colour films. The first among them were Munshi Dil's Azra in the early 1960s, Zahir Raihan's Sangam (first full-length coloured film) released on 23 April 1964, and Mala (first coloured cinemascope film).

Although it seemed that the industry had stabilised to a certain extent, the relations between the two neighbouring countries were not. On 26 May 1961, Kay Productions released a film titled Bombay Wallah, which did not come under scrutiny from the censor board for having a name that represented a city in India in the wake of the growing tension between the region. Later, the censor board was blamed for irresponsibility.[14] It was the first time that a Pakistani film explored the realms of politics, but it would not be the last. In 1962, Shaheed (Martyr), pronounced the Palestine issue on the silver screen and became an instant hit. With the changing tide in the attitude of filmmakers, actress Mussarat Nazir who had reigned the industry for a while left for Canada and settled with her family. Her much anticipated Bahadur was left unfinished and never released, giving alternative films like Syed Kamal's debutante acting role in Tauba to be admired and fill the void. In 1962 Pakistan's most versatile actor Mohammad Ali debuted his acting career in Charagh Jalta Raha. It was premiered by Fatima Jinnah on 9 March 1962 at Nishat Cinema, Karachi.

In September 1965, following an armed conflict between India and Pakistan, all Indian films were taken off the screen from cinemas in Pakistan and a complete ban was imposed on the Indian films. The ban existed since 1952 in West Pakistan and since 1962 in East Pakistan,[15] but was exercised rigorously after the war. Pakistani cinemas did not suffer much from the decision to remove the films and instead received better viewership. Realising the potential, Waheed Murad stepped into the industry. His persona led people to call him the "chocolate hero" and in essence, he became the Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley of Pakistan.[16] In 1966, film Armaan was released and became one of the most cherished accomplishments of the industry.[14] It is said to have given birth to Pakistani pop music introducing playback singing legends – composer Sohail Rana and singer Ahmed Rushdi. The film became the first to complete 75-weeks screenings at cinema houses throughout the country attaining a platinum jubilee.[14] Another rising star Nazeer Beg with th stage-name Nadeem received instant success with his debut in Chakori in 1967. The same year, he would act in another film of a different genre. Horror films were introduced with the release of Zinda Laash aka The Living Corpse making it the first to display an R rating tag on its posters.[17]

Meanwhile, Eastern Films Magazine, a tabloid edited by Said Haroon, became the most popular magazine for film buffs in Pakistan. The magazine had a questions and answers section titled "Yours Impishly" which the sub-editor Asif Noorani took inspiration for from I. S. Johar's page in India's Filmfare magazine.[14] Tabloids like these got their first controversial covers with the release of Neela Parbat on 3 January 1969, which became Pakistan's first feature-film with an adults-only tag.[16] It ran for only three-to-four days at the box office.[18]

Decline (1977–2000)

Shaani, released in 1989, was Pakistan's first science fiction film, directed by Saeed Rizvi. The elaborate special effects used however could not save the industry from decline.

After 1971, the Pakistani film industry lost its Dacca wing. Cinemas closed down rapidly and film production decreased the period saw the exodus of Bengali origin film actors and actresses to Bangladesh, such as veterans like Runa Laila. The Pakistani industry was at the brink of collapse. Amidst concerns, the film Dosti released on 7 February 1971. It turned out to be the first indigenous Urdu film to complete 101 weeks of success at the box office, dubbing it the first recipient of a Diamond Jubilee.[19] However, it is reported that the first diamond jubilee status was celebrated by the Punjabi film Yakke Wali in 1957. As political uncertainty took charge of the entertainment industry, filmmakers were asked to consider socio-political impacts of their films as evident by the fact that the makers of Tehzeeb, released on 20 November 1971, were asked to change the lyrics with a reference to Misr, Urdu for Egypt, that might prove detrimental to diplomatic relations of Egypt and Pakistan. So vulnerable was the film industry to the changing political landscape that in 1976, an angry mob set fire to cinema in Quetta just before the release of the first Balochi film, Hamalo Mah Gunj, which was to be filmed in the same cinema.

Despite the industry crisis, Choorian released in 1998 and directed by Syed Noor became the highest-grossing domestic film of all-time, until 2007.

The mid-1970s saw the introduction of video cassette recorders in Pakistan. Suddenly films from all over the world were copied onto tape. Attendance at cinemas decreased when people preferred to watch films in the comfort of their homes. This ushered the birth of a piracy industry; films began to be copied on tapes on the day they premiered in cinemas. Javed Jabbar's Beyond the Last Mountain, released on 2 December 1976, was Pakistan's first venture into English film-making. The Urdu version Musafir did not do well at the box office. While the industry was revolutionising, Pakistan's government was in a state of turmoil. Aina, released on 18 March 1977, marked a distinct symbolic break between the so-called liberal Zulfikar Ali Bhutto years and the increasingly conservative cum revolutionary Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq regime. The film stayed in cinemas for over 400 weeks,[20] with its last screening at Scala in Karachi, where it ran for more than four years. It is considered the most popular film in the country's history to date.[20]

Politics, Islamisation and downfall (1979–1987)

Following Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's military coup, he began to Islamise the country and one of the first victims of this socio-political change included the film industry.[21] Imposition of new registration laws for film producers requiring filmmakers to be degree holders, where not many were, led to a steep decline in the workings of the industry. The government forcibly closed most of the cinemas in Lahore.[22] New tax rates were introduced, further decreasing cinema attendances. Films dropped from a total output of 98 in 1979, of which 42 were in Urdu, to only 58 films (26 in Urdu) in 1980. The filmmakers that remained employed flaccid storylines to present Punjabi cult classics like Maula Jatt in 1979, telling the story of a gandasa-carrying protagonist waging a blood-feud with a local gangster. Growing censorship policies against displays of affection, rather than violence, came as a blow to the industry.[23] As a result, violence-ridden Punjabi films prevailed and overshadowed the Urdu cinema.[23] The middle class neglected the 'increasingly dilapidated and rowdy cinemas'.[23] This film sub-culture came to be known as the gandasa culture in the local industry. Where veterans of this culture Sultan Rahi and Anjuman, became iconic figure in the Punjabi films, Pashto cinema took on a contrasting façade. Backed by powerful politicians, Pashto filmmakers were able to get around the censor policies and filled their films with soft-core pornography to increase viewership.[23] This threw away the romantic and loveable image of Pakistani cinema and fewer people were attracted to going to a cinema. Being a female actor associated with film productions became an understandable taboo. Nevertheless, the influx of refugees from across the Afghanistan, who were denied the entertainment in their country, kept the industry strongly active.[24]

When it seemed the industry could not be further deteriorated, following years saw yet another blow to the fatal collapse. Waheed Murad, oft termed the "chocolate hero"[25] died in 1983 due to alcohol abuse and stomach cancer; some say he committed suicide.[26] The media attributes the star's death to his disheartened view in the wake of Pakistani cinema's collapse.[25] The director of his unfinished film Hero, employed 'cheat shots'[23] to complete the last of this legend's memorable films to a packed audience. This enthusiasm soon disappeared and not even Pakistan's first science fiction film, Shaani, in 1989,[27] directed by Saeed Rizvi employing elaborate special effects, could save the industry from failing. It received an award at the Moscow Film Festival[28] and even in Egypt and Korea,[28] but sadly was shelved in its country of origin.[28]

Collapse (1988–2002)

Zeba Bakhtiar made her cinema debut in the turbulent 1990s and won Best Actress at the 1995 Nigar Awards.

By the 1990s, Pakistan's film industry was gripped with certain doom. Only 11 film studios were left operational in the entire country, producing around 100 films annually.[29] This number would lower further as studios abandoned film making and began producing short-plays and television commercials.[22] The rise of cable television was the final nail in the coffin for Pakistani cinema.[29] Annual output by the mid 1990s dropped to around 40 films annually, all produced by a single studio.[29] The local industry succeeded to regain audience attention towards the mid-1990s. Haathi Meray Saathi, produced and distributed by Eveready Pictures, celebrated its Golden Jubilee bringing audience back to the cinema for 66 weeks. Another big hit was Syed Noor's 1995 hit film Jeeva and Saeed Rizvis Sarkta Insaan, Pakistan's first horror fiction film and Tilismith Jazira, the first joint venture between Pakistan and Russia and Samina Peerzada's 1999 hit Inteha. It seemed that cinema of Pakistan was headed towards a much needed revival, but low turnout at the box-office for later ventures ushered a complete and utter collapse of the industry. Notable productions of the time include Deewane Tere Pyar Ke, Mujhe Chand Chahiye, Sangam, Tere Pyar Mein, and Ghar Kab Aao Gay, which tried hard to get away from the formulaic and violent storylines but were not accepted fully among the lower middle class cinema audience.

Controversy raged over the filming of Jinnah in the late 1990s, a film produced by Akbar Salahuddin Ahmed and directed by Jamil Dehlavi. Objections were raised over the choice of actor Christopher Lee as the protagonist[30] depicting Muhammad Ali Jinnah and inclusion of Indian Shashi Kapoor as archangel Gabriel[31] in the cast combined with the experimental nature of the script.[31] Imran Aslam, editor of The News International, said the author wrote the script in a "haze of hashish".[31] Of all the controversies and hearsay, the film proved a point that Indian and Pakistani filmmakers and actors can collaborate on any such cinematic ventures without the ban being lifted. Later years would see more actors travels traveling in and across the border on further cross-border ventures.

Khuda Kay Liye, released in 2007 and directed by Shoaib Mansoor, is commonly cited as the film that "began the revival of Pakistani cinema".

Late '80s had seen the death of Murad and towards 1989, Anjuman got married to Mobeen Malik, quitting from playback signing and finally Sultan Rahi was murdered in 1996. The already reeling industry lost interest not only for its Urdu films, but also Punjabi films following Rahi's death. Director Sangeeta attended to her family life and Nazrul Islam died during the time. The industry was pronounced dead by the start of the new millennium. Syed Noor, depressed at the sudden decline of cinema, gathered investors for what was considered the only Pakistani film to have survived this chaos. 1998 saw the release of Noor's Choorian, a Punjabi film that grossed 180 million rupees.[32] Directors realised there was still hope and Javed Sheikh's Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa[33] released in 2002 grossing over 200 million rupees (US$3.4 million) across Pakistan. The monetary prospects were then realised fully and for the first time in twelve years, investors starting taking keen interest in Pakistani films. However, the short period of successes in the industry could not keep the cinemas afloat, and the same industry that at one time produced more than a 100 films annually a decade ago was now reduced to merely 32 per year, by 2003, with only one partial success called Larki Panjaban (A Punjabi Girl).[34]

Bol, released in 2011 was another hit film directed by Shoaib Mansoor.

Renaissance and resurgence (2007–present)

Siyaah, released in 2013, was Pakistan's first horror film to released in over 20 years.

In early 2003, young filmmakers took on a stance to demonstrate that high quality content could be produced by the local film industry using the limited resources available.[35] Cinema was declining in all major cities of the nation and a need for revival was echoed in the media. With privatisation of television stations in full swing, a new channel Filmazia was broadcast, primarily to broadcast films and productions made indigenously in the country. It was during this time that Mahesh Bhatt, a celebrated Indian director visited Pakistan looking for talent, particularly singers who could lend their voices to his upcoming films in India. During his visit to Pakistan, he attended the 3rd Kara Film Festival, for the screenings of his film Paap in Karachi.[36] Bhatt would later hire Atif Aslam for the soundtrack of his film Zeher and Pakistani actress Meera to play a lead-role in one of his films.

Rise of Karachi

By 2000, Lahore's film industry had collapsed, and much of it was now based solely based around low budget Punjabi films. By 2007, many actors, actresses, filmmakers and directors shifted from Lahore to Karachi in hopes for a better chance to rebuild the Urdu film industry. By 2009, several new film studios and production companies were created in Karachi. Geo Films led efforts with their Revival of Cinema motto. The Pakistan New Cinema Movement was launched in 2010, with around 1400 members. The grassroots organization facilitated networking and published articles to stimulate new production. Several films were made in the mid 2000s with moderate response from the public. Son of Pakistan, based on terrorism in Pakistan and written, directed and produced by Jarar Rizvi featured Shamyl Khan, Sana Nawaz and Meera in lead roles. Aamir Zafar, a filmmaking student, debuted as director with Victim which features Humayun Saeed and Irtiza Ruhab in lead roles. All these films proved to be lackluster and did not help in bringing the masses back to the cinemas.

After several failed attempts, it was Shoaib Mansoor's film Khuda Ke Liye which caught the attention of cinema goers. For the first time in over 25 years, a Pakistani film was the talk of the media. It became very popular due to its controversial theme of social problems faced in Pakistan. It was also released internationally, including India, the first Pakistani film released after four decades.[37] In 2011, another hit Bol was released.[38] Ramchand Pakistani, directed by Mehreen Jabbar, made its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2008 and went on to win the FIPRESCI Prize (International Federation of Film Critics Award), Honourable Mention at the Satyajit Ray Awards at the London Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Fribourg Film Festival, Switzerland. It was shown in over 50 film festivals around the world as well as having a week long run at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Na Maloom Afraad, released in 2014, continued on Pakistan's film revival.

Revival and new wave

Shoaib Mansoor's Khuda Kay Liye (2007) and Bol (2011) seemed to have ushered in the Revival of Pakistani Cinema. By, 2013 several Pakistani films were theatrically released, the first time in over a decade. It led commentators to speculate whether it was time to announce the heralding of a 'new wave'[39] of Pakistani cinema.[40]

2013 proved to be a great year for Pakistani cinema. By March, Siyaah (Pitch black) was the first horror thriller film to be released in Pakistan in over 20 years. Directed by Azfar Jafri[41] and written by Osman Khalid Butt, the film stared Hareem Farooq, Qazi Jabbar, Mahnoor Usman and Ahmed Ali Akbar. The film is about the dissociative personality disorder.[42] and collected over ₨2.65 crore (US$260,000). The following month Chambaili, an Urdu-language political thriller film directed by Ismail Jilani, was released. It stared Salmaan Peerzada, Khalid Ahmed, Mohammed Ehteshamuddin, Maira Khan, Shafqat Cheema and Ghulam Mohiuddin also made a special appearance. Chambaili was a political drama exploring the subject of political corruption. Since the flower 'Chambaili' (lily flower) is the national flower of Pakistan, the film-makers' intentions were to encourage patriotism and nationalism in Pakistan and they obviously picked this name for a reason.[43] The film made 20 million (US$200,000) at the box office. Waar (Wār; IPA: [ʋɑːr], meaning "The Strike") is a 2013 action-thriller film directed by Bilal Lashari[44] and written and produced by Hassan Rana.[45] The film features Shaan Shahid, Meesha Shafi, Ali Azmat, Shamoon Abbasi, Ayesha Khan and Kamran Lashari.[46] It is the second highest-grossing Pakistani film after Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.[47] It is a stylized depiction of events surrounding the war on terror in Pakistan,[48][49] including the attack on a Police Academy at Lahore in 2009.[50] Several other films were also released between April to October including Ishq Khuda directed by Shahzad Rafique, Josh: Independence Through Unity directed by Iram Parveen Bilal, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi directed by Syed Ali Raza Usama, Zinda Bhaag by Meenu Gaur and Seedlings by Mansoor Mujahid. However the biggest film of the year released in October. Bilal Lashari's Waar broke every box office record in Pakistan at the time of its release. Waar (meaning "The Strike")[44] was written and produced by Hassan Rana.[45] starring Shaan Shahid, Meesha Shafi, Ali Azmat, Shamoon Abbasi, Ayesha Khan and Kamran Lashari.[46] It is the second highest-grossing Pakistani film after Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.[47] It is a stylized depiction of events surrounding the war on terror in Pakistan,[48][49] including the attack on a Police Academy at Lahore in 2009.[50]

Janaan released in 2016 and directed by Azfar Jafri, became Pakistan's first Urdu-Pashto language film to become an nationwide box office hit. It also became the highest grossing Pakistani film to release in the UK, after Waar in 2013.

Two films stood out in 2013 with box office successes as one of the highest grossing Pakistani films - Waar followed by Main Hoon Shahid Afridi. However, as some commentators cautioned, declaring a film a 'hit' or a 'flop' is determined by the relationship of the budget spent and box office returns of a film and therefore several of the top-grossing films of Pakistan were technically not a 'hit'.[51] Nonetheless, the lack of box office returns of a Pakistani film has less to do with the film itself but more to do with the severely limited number of screens in Pakistan.[52] Another film, Zinda Bhaag (Run for your Life, 2013) has been critically acclaimed with reviewers calling it 'the best film to have come out of modern-day Pakistani cinema'[53] and a "new metaphor for Pakistani cinema"[54] that "bode(d) well for the possibility of noteworthy Pakistani imports in years to come".[55] Zinda Bhaag went on to be Pakistan's official submission to the Oscars (Foreign Film Category),[56] the first after a gap of fifty years[57] but did not make the final shortlist nominees.[58] The resurgence of new Pakistani film productions centres around the use of digital equipment and makes use of cheaper distribution with DCP compliant cinemas which started to convert around 2011, increasing rapidly to 2014 with around 30 cinemas nationwide.[59]

Over fifteen feature films were released in 2014 and proved to be equally good year as previous. Na Maloom Afraad (Unidentified Persons) proved to be the winner. The 2014 Pakistani comedy thriller film was co-written and directed by Nabeel Qureshi as his directorial debut.[60] The film starred Javed Sheikh, Fahad Mustafa, Mohsin Abbas Haider with supporting cast of Urwa Hocane, Kubra Khan and Salman Shahid.[61] The story follows Shakeel (Sheikh), Farhaan (Mustafa) and Moon (Haider), three poor struggling individuals who chase every possible means of becoming rich, all getting into trouble as they struggle to fulfill their desires and ambitions through questionably moral ways.[62] Other films released in 2014 included Tamanna directed by Steven Moore, Sultanat directed by Syed Faisal Bukhari, Dukhtar directed by Afia Nathaniel, and O21 directed by Jami.

Regional industries

Balochi cinema

Main article: Balochi cinema

Karachi film industry

Main article: Kariwood

Lahore film industry

Main article: Lollywood

Pashto cinema

Main article: Pashto cinema

Sindhi cinema

Main article: Sindhi cinema

Highest grossing films

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani released in 2015 and directed by Nadeem Beyg, became Pakistan's highest grossing film ever.
Waar, released in 2013 and directed by Bilal Lashari, became Pakistan's highest grossing film ever at the time of its release.

Background color      indicates films currently playing in theatres.

Rank Title Year Studio Language Worldwide Gross Ref.
1 Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2015 Six Sigma Plus Urdu Rs49.44 crore (US$4.9 million) [63]
2 Waar 2013 MindWorks Media Urdu, English Rs34.65 crore (US$3.3 million) [64]
3 Bin Roye 2015 MD Films Urdu Rs30.75 crore (US$3.0 million) [65]
4 Janaan 2016 IRK Films Urdu, Pashto Rs30 crore (US$3.0 million) [66]
5 Actor In Law 2016 Filmwala Pictures Urdu Rs30 crore (US$3.0 million) [67][68]
6 Ho Mann Jahaan 2016 The Vision Factory Films Urdu Rs21.26 crore (US$2.1 million) [69]
7 Choorian 1998 Pak Nishan Films Punjabi Rs20 crore (US$4.4 million) [64][70]
8 Bol 2011 Shoman Production Urdu Rs16.80 crore (US$1.98 million) [64][70]
9 Wrong No. 2015 YNH Films Urdu Rs15.75 crore (US$1.57 million) [71]
10 Khuda Kay Liye 2007 Shoman Production Urdu, English Rs15.06 crore (US$2.51 million) [63][70]
11 Na Maloom Afraad 2014 Filmwala Pictures Urdu Rs12.50 crore (US$1.25 million) [63]
12 Karachi Se Lahore 2015 Showcase Films Urdu Rs10 crore (US$1.0 million) [72]
13 Bachaana 2016 Big Film Entertainment Urdu Rs10 crore (US$1.0 million) [73]
14 Jalaibee 2015 Redrum Film Urdu Rs8.50 crore (US$0.85 million) [70][74]
15 Maalik 2016 Media Hub Urdu Rs6.75 crore (US$0.67 million) [75]
16 3 Bahadur 2015 Waadi Animations Urdu Rs6.75 crore (US$0.67 million) [63]
17 Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay 2016 RC Films/Kingfisher Films Urdu, English Rs6.20 crore (US$0.62 million) [76]
18 O21 2014 One Motion Pictures Urdu, English Rs5.92 crore (US$0.59 million) [63]
19 Lahore Se Aagey 2016 Showcase Productions Urdu Rs5.85 crore (US$0.58 million) [77][78]
20 Main Hoon Shahid Afridi 2013 Six Sigma Plus Urdu, Punjabi Rs5.20 crore (US$0.52 million) [64]

See also


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  20. 1 2 "Pakistani films in 1977". Archived from the original on 18 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
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  22. 1 2 "Lollywood goes pop". On The Media. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 "1984". The Chronicles of Pakistan. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  24. "Pashto cinema". Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  25. 1 2 "Waheed Murad film festival in city from September 3". The Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
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  31. 1 2 3 "Pakistan governments halts funds for Jinnah film". Rediff. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
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Further reading

External links

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