|Comedy gold:With a cast of well-known singers and comedians, Five Fairies in the House raked in the highest turnover for any film produced in Viet Nam. — File Photo
As the Lunar New Year approaches, studios plan to churn out lighthearted comedies, which are cheap to make and consistently turn a profit, rather than more challenging dramas or other kinds of features.
Film producers plan to release more comedies during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, as they have become more popular in recent years.
The comedy Nha Co Nam Nang Tien (Five Fairies in the House), for example, has brought more than VND52 billion (US$2.4 million) to Song Vang Film Production Co., the highest turnover for any film produced in Viet Nam.
Directed by Tran Ngoc Giau, the film include well-known comedians, as well as young and beautiful singers.
"We made the costumes and the setting of Nha Co Nam Nang Tien very simple," Giau said. "The film's success depends totally on the artists."
Well-known comedian Hoai Linh, along with many other actors, will appear in several comedies to be screened in cinemas in HCM City during Tet in late January.
According to the schedule, the comedy Nam Sau Con Lai Ve (I'll Be Back Home Again Next Year) will go to cinemas some days before Tet begins, which falls on January 31, 2014.
In the film Linh plays the role of Sau Xe Om, a kind-hearted motorbike taxi driver.
Sau Xe Om helps Luong, played by comedian Viet Anh and his wife, played by Thanh Thuy, with their plan to welcome home their son who has spent five years studying abroad.
The poor old couple, pretending they are rich, borrow money to rent a big and beautiful house with the hopes that their son will be comfortable while he is at home.
The film features many humorous circumstances along with an amusing attitude of Luong's daughter-in-law (played by Le Khanh).
"Audiences will be entertained and enjoy a good laugh on Tet," Linh said.
The sequel of the comedy Co Dau Dai Chien (Battle of the Brides) will also be released during the Lunar New Year holidays.
The Battle of the Brides was the most successful film released in HCM City during Tet 2011, grossing more than VND37 billion (US$1.8 million).
"The Battle of the Brides 2 will be more interesting," Tran Ngoc Giau, the film director said.
Young and well-known comedian Le Khanh continues her lead role, Quyen, in part two of the film.
Betrayed in love, Quyen gathers lovelorn women in a club called Black Dressed Widows Club. The club members unite to tease and bring horror to unfaithful men.
Many young and popular singers, as well as actresses including Maya, Van Trang and Lan Phuong, are actors in the film.
The film is expected to set a ticket sale record this Tet, producers said.
Comedy, horror and martial arts films are common genres for the lucrative Tet film market in Viet Nam.
"Comedies are cheaper to make and are easier to attract audiences, so producers can recover their capital fast," said Phuoc Sang, director of Phuoc Sang Entertainment Co.
"Audiences want to start off the New Year with laughter. They don't pay much attention to artistic values of films, " said Sang. "We win if we meet their demand."
The comedy film Hai Lua made by Cinebox will go to cinemas on January 24, 2014.
The film does not feature well-known comedians like Linh and Khanh, but it has Phuong My Chi, the runner-up in the 2013 Voice Kids singing contest.
Chi's charming performances of Vietnamese folk songs have received warm applause from a large number of young music lovers.
The film features funny circumstances encountered by Hai Lua (played by well-known comedian Thanh Nam) and his friends during their trips from rural regions to big cities in both Viet Nam and Cambodia.
The busiest period for Tet films will be from January 28 to the 10th day of the first lunar month (February 9).
Film producers have started promotional campaigns, hoping to cash in on the lucrative entertainment season. — VNS