Viet Nam News
HCM CTY— Private film companies in HCM City sunk large amounts of money into movies for release during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday with high ticket sales, while theatres saw less crowds.
Producer Nhất Trung’s Cua Lại Vợ Bầu (Love Again) raked in more than VNĐ108.9 billion (US$4.7 million) in ticket sales in three weeks beginning late last month. Nearly 1.3 million tickets were sold.
The film was among three top hits, including Vietnamese comedy Trạng Quỳnh (Dr Quỳnh) and DreamWorks animation How To Train Your Dragon - The Hidden World, which earned the most profits this season.
While Trạng Quỳnh earned nearly VNĐ70 billion ($3 million) in just 10 days after release, while sales for How To Train Your Dragon - The Hidden World were VNĐ65 billion ($2.8 million).
The three films are still in cinemas so the numbers will shoot up further.
Both Vietnamese productions, Cua Lại Vợ Bầu and Trạng Quỳnh, feature themes about love using comedy and exciting action.
Famous movie stars and comic artists, such as 2015 Golden Kite Best Actress winner Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc, Trấn Thành and Nhã Phương, play roles in the film.
Young film director Toàn Joshua’s full-length comedy Táo Quậy is based on traditional tales.
It tells the story of Ông Táo (Kitchen God), who leaves for heaven to report about the family to the God of Heaven on the 23rd of the last lunar month. He returns to the kitchen on the 30th.
Veteran actors Lê Bình and Trung Dân play the leading roles.
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 Tết. Saigonese also love theatre.
Leading theatres and drama troupes offered 24 new plays during the year’s biggest season. However, they saw less crowds compared to last Tết.
People’s Artist Hồng Vân of the Phú Nhuận Drama Troupe said that her theatre would end the performances of its two comedies after this weekend because “the number of audiences huge dropped during Tết.”
“We didn’t earn enough to keep our schedules through this month.”
Vân’s theatre has introduced three new plays, Tắt Đèn Là Chạy (Run Out), Cơn Mê Cuối Cùng (The Last Dream) and Cung Tâm Kế (Game of Throne), starring young actors from the HCM City University of Theatre and Cinematography.
The plays focus on messages about love.
“We offered comedies, instead of serious productions, during the Tết holiday because audiences want to be entertained after a year of hard work," said Vân, the theatre’s owner and art director, who spent VNĐ2 billion (US$87,000) on productions.
“We earned good profits during the previous Tết. It was not repeated this year. The taste of people changed,” she said.
"We will continue to offer shows in the upcoming weeks as we had originally planned," said a representative of Hoàng Thái Thanh Drama Troupe.
The theatre decided to restage Nửa Đời Ngơ Ngác (Life), one of its most favourite works, portraying the changes in traditional values related and suffered to young farmers, particularly women.
The play’s new version is directed by Ái Như, the theatre’s co-founder and art director, who has more than 20 years in the industry.
The leading characters are played by veteran actresses Meritorious Artist Tuyết Thu, Hạnh Thúy, Hồng Ánh and Như.
Nửa Đời Ngơ Ngác debuted in 2010 and has staged more than 150 shows.
“The new version of Nửa Đời Ngơ Ngác meets the taste of young audiences,” said Như.
Như predicts that her play will continue to draw audiences to the theatre until Women’s Day on March 8.—VNS