‘Mai’ movie collects $13M in just 9 days

By Mai Nhat   February 20, 2024 | 09:16 pm PT
"Mai," directed by comedian Tran Thanh, has grossed VND310 billion (US$13 million) in nine days, becoming the fastest to reach the mark.

According to its distributor, CJ, the film has sold 3.5 million tickets.

It has become the third most popular Vietnamese movie of all time, surpassing Ly Hai’s "Lat Mat 6" (Face Off 6), which collected VND300 billion.

Thanh also owns the top two spots in the list with "Nha Ba Nu" (The House of No Man) and "Bo Gia" (Dad, I'm Sorry), which grossed VND475 billion and VND417 billion.

Comedian, actor and filmmaker Tran Thanh at the premiere of Nha Ba Nu on Jan. 22, 2023. Photo by Nam Nguyen

Comedian, actor and filmmaker Tran Thanh at the premiere of "Nha Ba Nu" on Jan. 22, 2023. Photo by Nam Nguyen

He has the only Vietnamese producer and director with lifetime collections of VND1,000 billion.

"Mai", labeled 18+ (not for audiences aged under 18), dominated the box office from Feb.10-19, peaking on the 14th, when revenues topped VND43 billion, according to Box Office Vietnam.

Nguyen Khanh Duong, founder of Box Office Vietnam, foresees the movie going past the VND500 billion mark at the box office.

Thanh has revealed plans for a new project after "Mai" and hopes to release it around the 2025 Lunar New Year.

"This one will not be restricted to audiences above 18 years, and will allow families to enjoy it together at the cinema."

Speaking about "Mai," he said he had worked for three years on it. The movie centers around the life of the female lead, Mai -- played by Phuong Anh Dao – a nearly 40-year-old massage therapist who has a chance encounter with Duong (Tuan Tran) and is pursued by him.

She struggles to accept the feelings of a man seven years her junior due to her low self-esteem.

Thanh chose a narrative style featuring moderated conversations and pace and steering away from intense arguments and lengthy dialogues.

Dao gets ample space to portray her character's emotional and psychological complexities, such as the challenges of being a single mother.

The supporting character, Dao, played by Hong Dao, constantly encourages Mai to embrace a life filled with love.

Over the first 10 days of the new year Vietnamese films outperformed foreign titles, with "Mai" accounting for 70% of their box office revenues.

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