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Comedies head cinema's holiday season shows

Update: November, 12/2014 - 08:11
Gay part: A scene from the comedy De Hoi Tinh, which is expected to be a box office hit this Christmas season. — VNS File Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — Film studios are hoping that the release of new movies for the Christmas and New Year holidays will attract young audiences during one of the most profitable seasons of the year.

The 100-minute comedy De Hoi Tinh (Hoi's Life) is expected to be a hit and a step forward for the season.

Its producers, Galaxy Studio (Thien Ngan), CJ Entertainment, Chanh Phuong Film and Early Rise Media Group, hired Vietnamese-American director Charlie Nguyen, and invited comedian Thai Hoa and fashion model-actress Diem My, one of the industry's young stars.

The film is about Hoi, played by Hoa, a gay man who faces challenges in finding his true love.

Hoa's previous films, Long Ruoi and Teo Em, both set box-office records last season.

While Long Ruoi (Mr Long) earned more than VND42 billion (US$2 million) in ticket sales, Teo Em (Teo's Younger Borther) helped its producer bring home nearly VND60 billion (nearly US$3 million).

"De Hoi Tinh is my third film that I play a gay man. I don't want my fans feel bored watching me, so I worked with the film's director to bring something new to my role," he said.

Hoa is called "the king of the box office" by more than 32,000 fans, who follow his fan page.

Other comedies during the holiday include Sieu Nhan X (Superman X) and Trung So (Win the Jackpot), both produced by HK Film and Dreamscape.

Nguyen Quang Dung's Sieu Nhan X features kung-fu scenes starring pop stars Phuong Thanh and Ngo Kien Huy.

Dustin Nguyen's Trung So used Vietnamese-American comedian Chi Tai to attract fans. Both promise lively sound and light effects.

Le Van Kiet's Rung Xac Song (The Lost Tour) is a horror film about a group of young people haunted by ghosts in a jungle.

The production stars Hollywood special effects specialist Cat Paschen and actor Juke Jones.

After watching, young audiences will learn about bravery, honour, and responsibility, according to the film's producer and director Kiet.

Rung Xac Song releases in cinemas a week before the New Year while other films will screen early next month.

Cinema takeover

CGV Viet Nam, a joint venture between local Phuong Nam Company and South Korea-based group CJ Entertainment, has invested millions of dollars to build Cineplex systems around the country.

Ticket prices of VND100,000 (US$5) at CGV theatres, which are equipped with the latest surround sound system and the most advanced digital film technology, are higher than those offered by State-owned cinemas, but still attract crowds.

Tickets to Lotte Cinema are VND70,000 ($3.5), an affordable price for most audiences.

Later this year, Lotte Cinema will open three multi-screen cinemas in Ha Noi and northern provinces.

Its competitor, Galaxy Studio, will soon open its biggest complex with eight theatres and 2,000 seats in HCM City.

BHD's third complex is scheduled to start operation early next year in HCM City.

HCM City has eight state cinemas, all located on busy streets in Districts 1, 3 and 5. But only three or four of them are profitable.

"State-owned cinemas need to upgrade facilities and change their services if they want to make profit," said Nguyen Van Tron, as a producer and member of the managing board of the Sai Gon Culture Company.

"The war to win over audiences has begun," a young movie fan of HCM City said. "The audiences will benefit from the competition." — VNS



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