Vietnamese cinema application tops App Store ranking thanks to war film's popularity

By Khuong Nha   February 22, 2024 | 05:54 am PT
Vietnamese cinema application tops App Store ranking thanks to war film's popularity
The official application of the National Cinema Center "Trung tam chieu phim quoc gia" is ranked No.1 on the most downloaded free entertainment applications on the App Store, Feb. 22, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Khuong Nha
The official application of Vietnam’s National Cinema Center has topped the App Store's most downloaded free entertainent chart thanks to the surging popularity of a state-produced war film.

According to Vietnam's App Store statistics on Wednesday and Thursday, the NCC application of the National Cinema Center has been ranked No.1 among the most downloaded entertainment applications. It has surpassed other popular applications like Facebook, Messenger and TikTok.

It is also the first time that NCC surpasses major film and cinema platforms like Netflix, Lotte Cinema or CGV.

The application's rise in ranking can be attributed to the surging popularity of "Dao, Pho va Piano" (Peach Blossoms, Pho and Piano), a state-produced war film. Previously on Tuesday, the website of the National Cinema Center had crashed due to overloading.

This surge in traffic was attributed to the unexpectedly high interest from the audience. According to VTV, "Dao, Pho Va Piano" portrays a young couple’s journey to reunite on Feb. 17, 1947, the last day of the 60-day Battle of Hanoi which signaled the start of the First Indochina War.

"Customers can use the NCC application and banking applications to purchase tickets," the center announced, adding a link to download the NCC application either on the App Store or CH Play.

However, on both the App Store and CH Play, the NCC application has received multiple 1-star ratings for numerous errors, such as the inability to be connected to the server.

"I cannot sign up for an account on the application, and it keeps sending the error saying the API does not exist," a user comments on the App Store, rating the application 1 star.

On CH Play, several users have encountered similar problems. One said their phone could access any other application, except for NCC, which would issue an error message of being unable to connect with the server.

"I have tried to register for a new 4G package and could access YouTube, but I could not access NCC," user Ngoc Anh said.

Some people said they managed to access the application, but encountered issues when they tried to book for tickets. The application itself also does not have contact sections to provide support.

On the App Store, NCC currently has a rating of 1.8/5, while users on CH Play rate it 2.1 points.

Websites and applications rendered inaccessible might be due to overloaded servers, said Tran Tuan, the tech director of a software company in HCMC.

"This problem stems from the initial system design, which did not account for the fact that the number of users trying to access may skyrocket. However, when the website states that it cannot be accessed for a long period of time, like what’s happening with the National Cinema Center, it would be because they actively shut down connection with the server," Tuan said.

He said certain operation units often connect a single server to multiple systems, like websites, applications and internal systems. As such, if even one system is overloaded, it would affect all of them.

On its official Facebook page, the National Cinema Center said it would only sell tickets for "Dao, Pho va Piano" at its counters.

Besides NCC, another Vietnamese application, Beta Cinemas, has also made it to the top three most downloaded entertainment applications on the App Store after the cinema chain announced it would have the war film showing. However, both its website and application are also buggy due to overloading.

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