Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan's latest release Dhoom 3 has broken box office records in Pakistan in the first week of its release, with multiplexes running five shows a day to capitalise on interest in the film.
In the country's largest city of Karachi, 'Dhoom 3's box office receipts from 56 screens on its opening day was around Rs 20 million. This easily broke the record set by the Pakistani film Waar last month for the highest box office collections on the first day of release.
"Waar grossed Rs 11.4 million on its opening day but Dhoom 3 has surpassed that by a large margin," said Nadeem Mandviwalla, one of Pakistan's leading exhibitors and distributors.
Dhoom 3 was released at a time when the screening of Indian movies has come under a cloud because of an order from the Lahore High Court barring the exhibition of "illegally" imported films.
The Dhoom 3 craze in Karachi has reached such heights that multiplexes are running the film on all their screens and having five shows a day on one screen - something unheard of in the Pakistani film industry.
"There is no doubt that Dhoom 3 has been a massive hit and the reason for this is clearly Aamir Khan and the pre-release publicity for the film," Mandviwalla said Abdul Haq, manager of Capri Cinema here, said that while Waar was released during the Eid holidays, Dhoom 3 was released on a normal weekend.
"There is great interest in the film and we are getting audiences of all ages and sexes," Haq said.
Mandviwalla said, "Dhoom 3's success comes at the end of a year during which Pakistani films have done well at the box office and have also been received well.
"It will be interesting to see by what margin Dhoom breaks the record for the highest box office collections in Pakistan, which is held by Chennai Express with grosses of Rs 100 million."
Mandviwalla said 2013 was a great year for exhibitors and distributors and the success of Chambeli, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, Waar, Chennai Express and Dhoom 3 showed that Pakistani and Indian films could co-exist on screens.