Box office bombs: Vietnamese films lose big in domestic market

By Mai Nhat   June 1, 2022 | 04:00 am PT
Box office bombs: Vietnamese films lose big in domestic market
Actress Ly Nha Ky in 'The Third Person', a Vietnamese movie that hit theaters in May 2022.
'Ke Thu Ba' (The Third Person) only earned a mere VND1 billion (over $43,000) though it reportedly cost VND33 billion to make.

The film, released in mid-May, drew attention as one of the Vietnamese film projects with the highest budgets this year.

According to Box Office Vietnam, which analyzes cinema revenue data across the country, the film only pocketed about VND1 billion after 15 days on screen.

The film distributor has not provided exact ticket sales but claimed that the film's revenue is 10 percent higher than the figure provided by Box Office Vietnam.

Cinema chains CGV and Galaxy stopped showing the film on May 27 before other theaters did the same.

The domestic film market has gradually recovered since the Lunar New Year holiday. Dozens of films have been released until now, marking the most exciting box office period in more than two years of closure due to Covid. However, many Vietnamese films have racked up huge losses and only a handful actually generate profits.'

A week after the premiere of 'The Third Person', '578: Phat Dan Cua Ke Dien' (578: The Madman's Gun Shot) by director Luong Dinh Dung hit theaters.

Despite costing VND60 billion to film, it earned around VND3 billion after a week, according to Box Office Vietnam.

Due to the low number of moviegoers who bought tickets for this film, many cinemas reduced screening time for the movie. Each CGV theater in Ho Chi Minh City only had one showing of the film on May 27.

Chick-flick 'Bay Ngot Ngao' (Naked Truth) is the highest-grossing local film so far this year with VND87 billion, followed by 'Nghe Sieu De' (Super Easy Job) with VND72 billion and 'Chia Khoa Tram Ty' (A Hundred Billion Key) with VND70 billion.

The lack of content and poor acting contribute to the local movie industry's sluggish recovery, according to critics.

'The Third Person', directed by South Korean director Park Hee-joon, tells the story of a husband attempting to change the past in order to prevent the accident that killed his wife.

Some audiences pointed out that the plot is weak, and the script line is not outstanding.

Actress Ly Nha Ky's performance was also poorly rated. She failed to show any chemistry with the lead actor while her monotonous, low-pitched voice detracted from the film's emotional scenes.

Similarly, '578: The Madman's Gun Shot' is too action-packed and has few acting scenes, many viewers said.

Beauty pageant holder H'Hen Nie, who plays the role of detective Bao Vy, managed to show off a strong and sexy image in the film but did not have much opportunity for acting.

Actress HHen Nie in 578: The Madmans Gun Shot

Actress H'Hen Nie in '578: The Madman's Gun Shot'

Meanwhile, viewers said that the characters' background was not carefully exploited, leaving viewers with gaps and questions. In addition, the film's storyline is confusing, while the editing and transitioning effects are patchy and tacky.

The influence of the audience, according to director Charlie Nguyen, determines the fate of a movie in the age of social media. If the success of a film was primarily determined by box office stars more than a decade ago, public reviews now play a more prominent role, he said.

"Following the pandemic, audiences have developed a preference for selecting films with care. They tend to listen to friends and acquaintances who have seen the movie before, forming evaluation filters," he noted.

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