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Blockbuster weekend in Dubai

As The Dark Knight Rises, The Expendables 2 and Ek Tha Tiger release simultaneously in Dubai over the extended Eid weekened, movie-goers are spoilt for choice about which movie to put their money on

Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Xpress
People at a cinema in Dubai.

Dubai A caped crusader? A secret agent with an animal instinct? Or a gun-toting, muscle flaunting mercenary?

This Eid, the choice is yours.

With three big-budget movies all releasing over the extended Eid weekend, movie-goers will have to decide which hero gets their money.

Scheduled for large-scale releases are The Dark Knight Rises, Expendables 2 and the Bollywood flick Ek Tha Tiger. With a combined star cast of Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Katrina Kaif, Sylvestor Stallone, Bruce Willis, Salman Khan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li and Jean Claude Van Damme, the stakes are high.

At first glance, the scales tip in favour of the long-awaited Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The movie released across the world on July 20. Dubai fans were naturally disappointed to know that they would have to wait another month to watch the movie after it was announced that the movie would only release at the end of Ramadan. An online petition was set up on Facebook to bring forward the release. Distributors, however stuck to their schedule and ever since, fans have been waiting with bated breath for the movie’s release.

Standing strong against Batman at the UAE box office are a group of mercenaries whose names read like the who’s who of Hollywood. With the likes of Sly Stallone, Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis heading this all-gun-pumping star cast, Expendables 2 is creating the kind of hype that’s bubbling over its adrenaline-filled cauldron.

And last, but surely not least is Bollywood’s contribution to the Eid mania: the Salman Khan starrer Ek Tha Tiger, a movie that sees India’s favourite Khan reuniting with ex-girlfriend Katrina Kaif in an action-adventure that the actor claims has sold out long before its release.

Corrina Campos, a 34-year-old Indian PR executive, is dancing circles waiting for the day she’ll walk into the theatres to watch the Indian flick. “I don’t really care for the other two releases; my money’s going towards any movie that has Salman Khan in it. I’m such a big fan and I can’t wait to see him and Katrina. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them together.”

The Khan fan says that she doesn’t see the point in watching Hollywood action movies such as The Dark Knight Rises or The Expendables 2. “The action sequences in our Bollywood movies are just as good as in a Hollywood movie. As an Indian, why would I go watch an English-language movie, when I can watch one that’s just as good in Hindi?”

Batman fan Jassem Arif disagrees. “I think people who go watch anything besides The Dark Knight Rises this weekend have totally lost it,” says 27-year-old Arif. “Batman’s my favourite comic book character. As a child I tried emulating him constantly. I love that he has no real superpower. He’s a human being, which makes him believable,” says the Indian who has already booked tickets for the movie. Meanwhile 28-year-old Mohammad Elmalhy is just as excited about another release: Expendables 2. “All my favourite action heroes are in this movie!” he gushes. “I’m going with a large group of friends to watch the opening midnight show at Festival City.”

The Egyptian sales manager says he booked his tickets well in advance once he heard the movie was releasing for Eid.

“It’s not often that we have so many big budget movies releasing at the same time,” says 32-year-old Faisal Ahmad. “To be honest, I want to watch them all. I don’t have a favourite. I love Batman. I love Expendables. And I love Salman Khan. It’s a long weekend, maybe I’ll watch them all,” says the Pakistani engineer, echoing the words of many a fan in Dubai.

Did you know?

  • Christopher Nolan is the first director to complete a full trilogy of Batman films
  • The sequel of Expendables was considered months before the first movie was completed
  • Ek Tha Tiger is Salman’s first movie under the Yash Raj Banner in his 24-year career

Fact Box

million dollars, Batman's 
earnings at the end of week 3


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