Vietnamese films set new revenue records

By An Nguyen    June 30, 2019 | 10:51 pm PT
Vietnamese films set new revenue records
A scene from the trailer of Cua Lai Vo Bau (Winning Back My Pregnant Wife), the second highest grossing movie in Vietnam of all time.
Four films have crossed the VND100 billion ($4.3 million) mark so far this year, one of them the highest grossing Vietnamese film of all time. 

Total film revenues in the first half of 2019 was VND715 billion ($30.6 million), compared to VND750 billion ($32.1 million) for the whole of last year, according to CGV distribution, also the biggest cinema system in Vietnam. 

"In the last four years, Vietnamese films’ annual revenue was around VND750 billion. But this is going to be surpassed with a big gap this year," said a representative of CGV. "This shows that the market is expanding and there are many Vietnamese movies of good quality."

The market share of Vietnamese films in the first six months of 2019 increased to 34 percent, compared to 23 percent last year. The development of Vietnamese films is most evident in revenue records, with four going past the VND100 billion ($4.3 million) mark this year.

This used to be a challenging mark for Vietnamese filmmakers, with only four other films crossing it in five previous years, according to industry insiders. But four have done it in the first six months of 2019: romantic comedy Cua Lai Vo Bau (Winning Back My Pregnant Wife), Trang Quynh (Dr. Quynh), Hai Phuong (Furie) and Lat Mat: Nha Co Khach (Face Off: The Walking Guest).

Among these, Hai Phuong (Furie) became the highest ever grossing Vietnamese film with VND200 billion ($8.6 million) including revenue from foreign markets. In the domestic market, Furie earned VND160 billion ($6.8 million), the highest revenue for a film restricted for people under age 18.

This success stems from improved quality, experts say. Nguyen Phong Viet, a film media expert said he was impressed with the combination of tragedy and comedy in Winning Back My Pregnant Wife  and anticipated that the style will be adopted by other filmmakers. He also recognized the quality of the action scenes in Furie.

The increase in the number of cinema theaters can be another reason for the rise in film revenue, Viet said. In fact, the number of cinema theaters in Vietnam was 510 with 86,500 seats in 2016, and this rose to 901 theaters with 130,900 seats at the end of 2018. 

Eighteen Vietnamese films have been released so far this year, two less than the 20 films released in the same period last year.

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