Karachi: The World Cup may spell joy for the cricket fans in Pakistan but the 43-day event has hit the country`s film industry hard as theatres are going empty, leaving their owners with dwindling earnings.
The cricket extravaganza has forced the film distributors and exhibitors to suspend all the new releases and cinema owners have been pushed to run old films.
"No one is really interested in going out for movies during the World Cup because the match timings generally clash with our prime shows like the six or nine o`clock shows so it is sensible business not to release new films," said Nadeem Mandviwalla, a cinema owner and distributor.
"People are more into the cricket matches and since the Pakistan team is doing well no one is coming to the theatres," Mandviwalla added while emphasising upon the Afridi led teams good run in the tournament so far.
He also pointed out that the scene is no different in the neighbourhood, "Even in India no new big budget films are being released because of the World Cup."
A few theatre owners have, though, shown enterprise by entering into an agreement with the television network which has the exclusive broadcasting rights for the quadrennial event.
"We are planning to show the knockout matches in cinema halls some of them I believe will charge the customers," said one of the officials of the network.
"It gives us good business and allows us to tide through this period," revealed a cinema owner. As expected private clubs, five star hotels, restaurants have also tried to exploit the World Cup hype by setting up big screens to show the matches and offering special deals for their customers.
The city government has also made arrangements in some of the major parks and amusement areas to show the live telecast of the World Cup matches.