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Mon 3 Sep 2018 11:04 AM

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'Gold' becomes first Bollywood film shown in Saudi Arabia

Cinemas chains are increasingly active in the Saudi market, just months after the first public cinema screening took place

'Gold' becomes first Bollywood film shown in Saudi Arabia
The film – which stars Indian actor and producer Akshay Kumar – is about India’s first Olympic gold medal, earned by its national hockey team at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.

Bollywood sports-drama film “Gold” has become the first ever Bollywood film to be released in Saudi Arabia, just months after the kingdom opened cinemas to the public.

The film – which stars Indian actor and producer Akshay Kumar – is about India’s first Olympic gold medal, earned by its national hockey team at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.

The Hindi-language film earned nearly Rs 25.25 crore ($4.76 million) on its opening day in India in mid-August.

It is currently the third highest grossing Bollywood film of 2018, and is now a member of the “100 Crore club” of films that have minted more than $18.69 million.

“Happy to share, #Gold is the first ever Bollywood movie to release in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in cinemas from today!” Kumar tweeted on Sunday.

The film’s debut in Saudi Arabia comes as cinema chains are increasingly seeking to break into the market of 30 million people, the majority of whom are under 25. The country has pledged to invest $64 billion in its entertainment sector over the next decade.

On August 30, Saudi authorities announced that the kingdom has granted its fourth licence to Lux Entertainment to operate cinemas in the Gulf kingdom.

The first public cinema screening – featuring Black Panther – took place in Riyadh in April.