'Guzaarish' releases in Pakistan ahead of India

"Guzaarish", which stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai, was released in Pakistani cinema halls on November 17. It was released two days later in India.

Bhansali's movie became the first Bollywood film to be released in Pakistan before India. The movie was set for release in both countries on November 19 but Pakistani cinema owners began screening it earlier to coincide with the Eid-ul-Azha festival celebrated on November 17.

The film was initially set for release on November 12 in both countries but was delayed by a week. Exhibitors in Pakistan, who had already obtained prints of the film, decided to release it on Eid.

An exhibitor, who did not want to be named, told The Express Tribune newspaper that, according to the law, it wasn't right to release an Indian film in Pakistan before its release in India. However, as cinema halls didn't have any new films to screen during Eid, theatre owners decided to screen "Guzaarish", he said.

The film met the expectations of cinema owners and distributors and remained the highest grosser in almost all halls in Lahore during the three-day Eid festivities.

An official of Cine Star cinema said the response was overwhelming even though the hall did not have the facility of advance bookings. "Toy Story 3", "Golmaal 3", and "Action Replay" were also released during Eid but could not match the "phenomenal response to "Guzaarish", distributors and hall owners said.

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