New films face losses as cinemas ordered to close amid new COVID-19 outbreak
Cinemas in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the two biggest markets in the country, closed on May 3 until further notice after new COVID-19 community cases were confirmed.
A scene from Lat Mat:48 Gio (Face Off: 48 Hours), an action comedy about love and family by producer Ly Hai of HCM City. (Photo courtesy of the producer)
Vietnamese filmmakers are expected to face losses after the four-day national holiday, which began on April 30.
Three Vietnamese films, Thien Than Ho Menh (The Guardian), Trang Ti (Child Master) and Lat Mat:48 Gio (Face Off: 48 Hours), have temporarily stopped screening.
Thien Than Ho Menh, released on April 29, has earned 26.7 billion VND (1.15 million USD) in ticket sales. Its competitor, Trang Ti, earned 15.3 billion VND (657,000 USD) after four days of release, according to the Box Office Vietnam, which provides ticket sale reports of film productions in Vietnam.
Thien Than Ho Menh is a thriller by Vietnamese-American director Victor Vu, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in the US.
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 Vu combined Vietnamese and Hollywood styles in his film.
The film’s producer, Tfilm Entertainment, said they are working with foreign partners to release Thien Than Ho Menh in 12 countries, such as Australia, Canada, Hungary, France, Ireland, the UK and US.
Trang Ti is a new production by blockbuster director Phan Gia Nhat Linh.
The film is about Vietnamese folk stories. It features four child characters called Ti (Mouse), Suu (Buffalo), Dan (Tiger) and Meo (Cat), who live in a remote village and use their intelligence to protect villagers.
The soundtrack is composed by Duc Tri, a graduate of the Berkelee College of Music in the US. Tri uses folk music from people in the northern and southern regions to highlight the film’s theme.
Trang Ti 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 Tet (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 43 billion VND (1.85 million USD) on the production.
In a recent interview with HCM City-based Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, movie star and director-producer Ngo Thanh Van, owner of Studio68, said: “I’m very sad. I have no idea about my profits from ticket sales.”
Lat Mat:48 Gio was released two weeks ago and earned 153 billion VND (6.8 million USD) at the box office. The film earned 19.2 billion VND (825,600 USD) 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 Ly Hai, owner of Ly Hai Production Studio.
Lat Mat:48 Gio 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 Vo Thanh Tam, Huynh Dong and Oc Thanh Van in the main roles.
Producer Hai invited fight choreographers Hai Bui of Vietnam and Kim Chung Min of the Republic of Korea to take part in the film.
“Lat Mat:48 Gio contains thrilling action scenes filmed at floating markets, and on boats and ferries,” said Tran Hoang Anh, a fan in HCM City./.VNS
Only films that reflect people's aspirations and reality of life and move the public can free the film industry from the current impasse and crisis.