The first Indian movie to be played in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) after the 35-year ban on cinema halls is lifted will be the South Indian Sci-Fi film “2.0” Directed by S Shankar and starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson.
This is first Indian movie that was directly shot in 3D. It is a sequel to the 2010 Tamil film Enthiran: The Robot, featuring Rajinikanth who reprises his roles of Dr Vaseegaran and Chitti. The film was shot simultaneously in Tamil and Hindi.
Movies were banned in the Middle-Eastern kingdom from the 1980s, under pressure from radical Muslim clerics. The radical reforms are being made by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, who has also lifted the ban on women driving cars, attend football matches and also allow concerts in the kingdom.
The lifting of the ban in the kingdom has been welcomed by most filmmakers around the world as the right step forward. South Indian filmmakers alone are projecting their revenues will rise by 25% by this ban being lifted.
Raju Mahalingam, the creative head of Lyca Productions, the production and distribution company behind the film recently told the Hindustan Times: “The overall revenue for a big film production can increase by 30%. Since movies have now begun to open in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in India, we hope to release them in all three languages in Saudi Arabia too. A new market in West Asia, where a substantial number of Tamil and Malayalees stay, will be a big boost for our movies.”
Movie theatres are set to open in KSA by March 2018, with more than 2000 slated for construction by 2030.