|Director Tran Nguyen Hoang Duy's Ma Dai grossed more than VND22 billion at the box office two weeks after its release. — VNS Photo/AHD Media & Thien Phuc Media.
HCM CITY—Vietnamese producers hope their films this summer will pay off after spending a lot of time, money and effort in the production process.
Thousands of film-goers have flocked to see the blockbuster Ma Dai (Strange Love Triangle), screened at State-owned and private cinemas such as Galaxy, CGV and Cinebox.
Young audiences lined up to buy tickets to watch the story of a love triangle between a beautiful girl and two men, one man handsome and the other unattractive.
The roles are well portrayed by singer Ngan Khanh, fashion model Ha Viet Dung and comedian Duc Thinh.
The comedy grossed more than VND22 billion (US$1 million) at the box office two weeks after its release.
Young director Tran Nguyen Hoang Duy and his crew had pinned their hopes on the financial success of their first production Ma Dai. Still, they were surprised at the record in ticket sales.
"Ma Dai's success at the box office promised a great summer season for Vietnamese producers," said Duy, a graduate of Ha Noi Theatre and Cinematography school.
"I'm very happy to see Vietnamese films compete with films from Hollywood," he said.
The film Bo Ba Rac Roi (Troublemaker Trio), a comedy produced by the HCM City-based private studio Chanh Phuong, was also popular at the box office last week.
The story revolves around three women, played by Vietnamese-American actresses Kathy Uyen, Thuy Nga and Hoang Anh, who face challenges in order to find their true love.
Director Vo Tan Binh invited famous comedians Viet Anh, Cac Phuong and Manh Dung who are recognised as "kings" of the box office to attend the screening.
At the National Screening Centre in Ha Noi, Bo Ba Rac Roi attracted over 3,000 people on the first days of release.
Another film, Le Bao Trung's Bao Mau Sieu Quay (Babysitters), is a comedy about a group of pre-school children, focusing on the relationships between parents, teachers and children.
The film features Bo, a four-year-old boy in a group of four kids who must protect his friends from a pair of kidnappers.
It drew more than 5,000 people, mostly children, to the cinemas last weekend. Experts believe the number of film-goers will increase in upcoming days.
"We believe in the success for ticket sales of Trung's film because there have been no Vietnamese films for children this summer until now," said Dinh Lang, a movie critic for Dien Anh Viet Nam (Viet Nam Cinematography) magazine.
The leading studio BHD will soon introduce its latest drama film, Quyen (Farewell Berlin Wall), hoping to earn a large profit.
Independent film director Nguyen Phan Quang Binh of HCM City released his film's trailer online after he completed post-production work.
Quyen depicts the tragic love story between Quyen (played by Vu Ngoc Anh), a married woman, and Hung (played by Vietnamese-American actor Tran Bao Son), who both lived in Germany as refugees.
It is based on a novel written by Vietnamese-German Nguyen Van Tho, who won second prize at the 2006-2009 Novel Writing Contest of the Viet Nam Writers Association.
Binh began filming late last year in Viet Nam and Germany. He filmed his last scenes in Berlin.
Binh worked with special effect experts of the UK-based Snow Business and German-based Element Films to add effects to his film.
According to Nguyen Danh Duong, director of the National Screening Centre in Ha Noi, big cinemas in the city have extended their timetable for screening Vietnamese movies this summer.
Duong's four cinemas attracted over 8,000 people each weekend.
"We will continue to screen Vietnamese films in the upcoming weeks," he said. — VNS