After 35 years, Saudi Arabia will witness the opening of the nation’s first-ever cinema from April 18, 2018. It is reported that as many as 40 more theatres will be opened countrywide in the upcoming five years.
The project has been given to AMC Entertainment which is an American movie theater chain owned and operated by Wanda Group.
Unlike most places in the conservative kingdom, movie theatres will not be segregated by gender and the first screening will be Marvel’s superhero movie “Black Panther”
“The Saudi market is very large, with the majority of the population… eager to watch their favourite films here at home.” Stated by Information Minister of Saudi Arabia Awwad Alawwad.
International theatre chains have long eyed the kingdom as the Middle East’s last untapped mass market of more than 30 million people, the majority of whom are under 30.
Earlier this year, Parchi became the first-ever Pakistani film to be released in KSA and managed to attract around 2,000 people to the cinemas.
The Saudi government plans to set up 350 cinemas with as many as 2,500 screens by 2030. This is expected to earn $1 billion box office sales, annually.
It is noteworthy that this latest development is bound to benefit Pakistan’s cinema industry. Parchi starring Hareem Farooq and Ali Rehman Khan became the first Pakistani movie to be screened in Saudi Arabia and minted massive moolah. This proves that there is huge potential for Pakistani movies to make business in the Arabian Peninsula.
What’s more, a huge number of Pakistanis reside in Saudi Arabia and will be keen to watch movies from their homeland.
Stay tuned to Very Filmi for more updates.
Contributed by Ghazala Sulaiman