Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Cinemas and theatres over the long Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday reported full houses and high ticket sales for foreign film screenings.
CGV Cinemas and Galaxy Cinema said they had a full house during Tết, with more tickets sold for foreign films than for Vietnamese films.
Released on January 27 (Lunar New Year’s Eve), Hollywood blockbuster xXx: Return of Xander Case, the third installment in the xXx franchise and a sequel to both xXx (2002) and xXx: State of the Union (2005), raked in VNĐ32 billion (US$1.43 million) in ticket sales in five days.
A new production of Jackie Chan, Kung Fu Yoga, was released on the same day of the Hollywood production. The action-adventure comedy, written and directed by Stanley Tong, earned VNĐ17.5 billion ($785,000) after five days of release.
Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back, a Chinese fantasy-adventure-comedy film directed by Tsui Hark and written and produced by Stephen Chow, appeared on screens in January. It earned VNĐ35 billion ($1.57 million) in ticket sales in just four days.
Nguyễn Huyền Trang, a representative of Galaxy Cinema, which released Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back and Kung Fu Yoga, said: “Many Vietnamese people like Stephen Chow and Jackie Chan’s films.”
This season saw the release of four domestic films, including Nàng Tiên Có Năm Nhà (A Pretty Woman), Rừng Xanh Kỳ Lạ Truyện (Magical Forest), Lục Vân Tiên: Tuyệt Đỉnh Kungfu (Lục Vân Tiên: Kungfu Hustle), and Chạy Đi Rồi Tính (Lost in Sài Gòn).
Of these, veteran director Trần Ngọc Giàu’s Nàng Tiên Có Năm Nhà had the highest number of ticket sales with VNĐ19 billion ($852,000) after five days of release beginning on January 27.
The film is about a young and beautiful girl (played by Khả Ngân), who tries to “manage” four rich men at the same time. It also stars famous comic actors Hoài Linh, Chí Tài and Tấn Beo.
Three other films, however, had lower ticket sales and thus limited show times.
Local filmmakers said that Việt Nam began to label domestic films in 2017. Four Tết films were labeled with C13 and C16 classifications.
As a result, the films lost audiences as many people choose films for all of their family members.
Many moviegoers said the similarity in the plot of films for Tết was boring.
Trần Bảo Trâm, a senior student at the HCM City’s Open University, who visited Galaxy Cinema to watch a Hollywood production, said: “I watched the film because of its quality, plot, and actors.”
“I don’t choose Vietnamese films because I don’t like the way most local filmmakers use comedy details in their films. Some of them are weird and meaningless,” she added.
Meanwhile, thousands of families flocked to theatres to watch dramas.
Trịnh Kim Chi of the Trịnh Kim Chi Drama Theatre, said that most of the big theatres, including Thế Giới Trẻ, Hoàng Thái Thanh, IDECAF and Phú Nhuận, expanded their performing schedule during Tết.
Chi’s theatre introduced four new plays, including Lọ Lem Truyền Kỳ (Story of Vietnamese Cinderella), Phim Trường Đại Chiến (War at Film Studio), Hoa Hậu Ao Làng (Miss Countryside Pageant), and Chàng và Thiếp (You and Me), featuring funny stories with meaningful lessons.
“We did better than last year. We will continue to stage new comedies with romantic details in the upcoming weeks to serve people, especially on Valentine’s Day,” said director Ngọc Hùng, director of Thế Giới Trẻ Theatre.
The theatre offered three new plays during Tết, with all tickets selling out after two weeks. VNS