A scene from Lật Mặt:48 Giờ (Face Off: 48 Hours), an action comedy about love and family by producer Lý Hải of HCM City. Cinemas in HCM City have closed due to new COVID-19 cases. Photo courtesy of the producer
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY — Cinemas in Hà Nội and HCM City, the two biggest markets in the country, closed on May 3 until further notice after new COVID-19 community cases were confirmed.
Vietnamese filmmakers are expected to face losses after the national holiday four-day weekend which began on April 30.
Three Vietnamese films, Thiên Thần Hộ Mệnh (The Guardian), Trạng Tí (Child Master) and Lật Mặt:48 Giờ (Face Off: 48 Hours), have temporarily stopped screening.
Thiên Thần Hộ Mệnh, released on April 29, has earned VNĐ26.7 billion (US$1.15 million) in ticket sales. Its competitor, Trạng Tí, earned VNĐ15.3 billion ($657,000) after four days of release, according to the Box Office Vietnam, which provides ticket sale reports of film productions in Việt Nam.
Thiên Thần Hộ Mệnh is a thriller by Vietnamese-American director Victor Vũ, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in the US.
Thiên Thần Hộ Mệnh (The Guardian), a thriller by Vietnamese-American director Victor Vũ, released on April 29, has earned VNĐ26.7 billion (US$1.15 million) in ticket sales. Photo courtesy of the producer
The film features three young women who feed and dress life-sized baby dolls as if they are living things.
Its trailer, which features haunting scenes, has attracted more than 103,000 views on YouTube.
Director Vũ combined Vietnamese and Hollywood styles in his film.
The film’s producer, Tfilm Entertainment, said they are working with foreign partners to release Thiên Thần Hộ Mệnh in 12 countries, such as Australia, Canada, Hungary, France, Ireland, the UK and US.
Trạng Tí is a new production by blockbuster director Phan Gia Nhật Linh.
The film is about Vietnamese folk stories. It features four child characters called Tí (Mouse), Sửu (Buffalo), Dần (Tiger) and Mẹo (Cat), who live in a remote village and use their intelligence to protect villagers.
The soundtrack is composed by Đức Trí, a graduate of the Berkelee College of Music in the US. Trí uses folk music from people in the northern and southern regions to highlight the film’s theme.
Trạng Tí was postponed twice due to the Covid-19 outbreak. It was first scheduled to be released in cinemas in May last year. Its release during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday period in February was also cancelled.
Its trailer on YouTube has attracted more than one million viewers.
The film’s producer, Studio68, and its partners spent VNĐ43 billion ($1.85 million) on the production.
In a recent interview with HCM City-based Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper, movie star and director-producer Ngô Thanh Vân, owner of Studio68, said: “I’m very sad. I have no idea about my profits from ticket sales.”
Lật Mặt:48 Giờ was released two weeks ago and earned VNĐ153 billion ($6.8 million) at the box office. The film earned VNĐ19.2 billion ($825,600) in just four days after release from April 29 to May 2.
“To live in the unfortunate time of COVID-19 is to always prepare for the worst scenarios,” said the film’s producer Lý Hải, owner of Lý Hải Production Studio.
Lật Mặt:48 Giờ features a family trying to escape from a gang that is chasing them.
The action comedy highlights themes about love and family, starring veteran actors Võ Thành Tâm, Huỳnh Đông and Ốc Thanh Vân in the main roles.
Producer Hải invited fight choreographers Hải Bùi of Việt Nam and Kim Chung Min of South Korea to take part in the film.
“Lật Mặt:48 Giờ contains thrilling action scenes filmed at floating markets, and on boats and ferries,” said Trần Hoàng Anh, a fan in HCM City. VNS