A reboot of the 1979 cult Punjabi classic, Maula Jat, Bilal Lashari’s The Legend of Maula Jatt is coming off of a record-breaking weekend for a Pakistan-made or Punjabi-language film. Opening on over 500 screens in 25 markets, the action fantasy grossed PRK 51cr ($2.3M) globally, a new benchmark launch for a Pakistani title worldwide. Check out the trailer below.
The movie (which The Guardian called Game of Thrones meets Gladiator) follows the titular Maula Jatt, a fierce prizefighter with a tortured past who seeks vengeance against his arch nemesis Noori Natt, the most feared warrior in the land of Punjab. Loyalties are challenged and families torn apart in an epic tale of truth, honor and justice. Fawad Khan (who appeared in Disney Plus series Ms Marvel), Mahira Khan, Hamza Ali Abassi and Humaima Malik star. Brian Adler (Avatar: The Way of Water, Avengers: Endgame) served as VFX supervisor.
From Encyclomedia and Lashari Films in association with AAA Motion Pictures, and overseas distributor Moviegoers Entertainment, this is said to be the largest-mounted Pakistan-made, Punjabi-language film to date.
In Pakistan, it took $517K, and in the UK picked up $355K from 79 locations. The latter is the highest opening weekend for any Pakistani or Punjabi film in the market where it entered at No. 9 on the chart.
In the U.S., The Legend of Maula Jatt grossed $290K and in Canada $235K, kicking off at No. 6. The UAE saw a No. 1 start with over $515K. In Australia, it opened at No. 6 with $160K. Other releasing markets included Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and South East Asia.
The filmmakers tell us demand has been extraordinary with exhibitors adding screenings throughout the weekend and into the week.
Lashari — who directed, co-wrote, lensed, edited and produced the movie — enthused, “I’m beyond overwhelmed by the love the film has received from audiences and critics alike the world over. We are so proud that The Legend of Maula Jatt has been instrumental in putting Pakistan-made cinema on the global map as it continues to win over hearts in theaters across the world.”
Producer Ammara Hikmat said, “The Legend of Maula Jatt has been our labor of love for a number of years. The pandemic came and returned but we knew we had to hold out for a theatrical release, as the film is undoubtedly a big screen experience… We’re so delighted that our film has broken previous records and set a new benchmark for Pakistan-made cinema, loved and lauded not only domestically but by audiences and critics globally.”
The Legend of Maula Jatt started rollout on October 13. Mandviwalla Entertainment with Geo Films releases in Pakistan; and Moviegoers Entertainment in overseas markets.
Here’s the trailer: