|On fire: A poster for Ngay Nay Ngay Nay (The Lost Dragon), which raked in VND40 billion (US$1.8 million) in ticket sales in three weeks. — Photo Courtersy of Viet Nam Artist Agency.
HCM CITY (VNS) — Private film companies that sunk large amounts of money into making movies for release at Tet (Lunar New Year) saw high ticket sales, while theatres also had large crowds.
Song Vang (Golden Screen) Production's Quy Tu Bat Dac Di (Mother's Boy) raked in more than VND30 billion (US$ 1.4 million) in ticket sales in just 10 days beginning on February 13. About 300,000 tickets were sold.
Luu Hong Hanh, representative for the film's distributor CGV, said Quy Tu Bat Dac Di was among three top hits, including Trung So (Winning the Lottery) and Ngay Nay Ngay Nay (The Lost Dragon), which have earned the most profits this season.
"We are very hopeful the numbers will shoot up further," she said.
The 92-minute comedy Quy Tu Bat Dac Di is about Hai Mui (played by Viet Huong), a rich woman who loses her only son (played by Hoai Lam) when he was a baby. After facing many challenges, Mui finds her son.
It is directed by Tran Ngoc Giau, an experienced artist in the industry, and includes dozens of famous comedians like Hoai Linh, Tran Thanh and Tan Beo.
Vietnam Artist Agency's full-length comedy Ngay Nay Ngay Nay has earned VND 40 billion ($1.8 million) in ticket sales in three weeks, attracting 500,000 people.
Canadian-Vietnamese director Cuong Ngo invited movie star Ngo Thanh Van and comedian Le Khanh to play his film's leading roles.
The film depicts the adventure of Dan Nuong (played by Van) and Tieu Duyen (played by Khanh), who live on a planet far away from earth. They are on a mission to discover the earth and its people. Both decide to live in a circus in HCM City where they learn about love and friendship.
The 90-minute piece was filmed in a studio designed as a 400-seat circus.
Vietnamese-American director Dustin Nguyen's Trung So features the lives of farmers, who believe that happiness comes from their work, not from money.
The film's producer has not announced the number of ticket sales, but they are hoping for a good profit.
Films are not the only choice for Vietnamese this Tet. In HCM City, thousands of families have also flocked to theatres, despite burning hot and sunny days.
Hong Van of the HCM City Phu Nhuan Drama Troupe, said that mostly big drama troupes and theatres, including IDECAF and Small Drama Theatre, expanded their performing schedule during Tet.
Van's theatre has introduced three new plays, Xom Tro 3D ( The Alley of Love), Tang 13 (The Thirteenth Floor) and Kim Sinh Thuy (Metal Creates Water), all attracting talented artists like Dinh Toan and Dai Nghia.
"We will continue to stage comedies in the upcoming weeks instead of showing serious productions as we had originally planned," said a representative of Small Drama Theatre.
The theatre offered two new plays, with all tickets selling out three weeks later.
Van predicts that comedies will continue to draw audiences to the theatre until International Women's Day on March 8. — VNS