Vin Diesel is king of the box office in Vietnam

By Vu Van Viet   February 3, 2017 | 01:19 am PT
His new movie 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage' became a monster hit, grossing more than $1.77 million during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

Chris Pratt who? Vin Diesel has once again proved that he's still one of the biggest and most reliable Hollywood stars in Vietnam: his new film dominated local screens during the Lunar New Year break.

His surprise sequel, “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” despite the generally poor critical reception, grossed more than VND40 billion ($1.77 million) between January 27 and February 2. It was closely followed by Stephen Chow’s fantasy comedy film “Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back” which was released a day later, according to local distributors.

Directed by D. J. Caruso and written by F. Scott Frazier, the movie stars Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette and Samuel L. Jackson.

The movie was released globally as PG-13 but has been rated C16 in Vietnam, which means it is restricted to viewers from 16 years old. The Chinese movie is rated P for general viewers.

Diesel's previous blockbuster "Fast & Furious 7" opened to a staggering $4.4 million within the first two weeks in Vietnam.

Luu Hanh, a spokesperson of CGV, the biggest theater chain in Vietnam, said his new film is still a success despite the age restriction.

The movie has received mixed reviews worldwide with some saying people should expect nothing besides a brainless action film.

Yet it has not stopped the film from earning more than $131 million worldwide. Its premiere in the U.S. has not been a major success though.

A Vietnamese comedy starring Hoai Linh, possibly the biggest comedy star in Vietnam, earned VND23 billion ($1 million) from local theaters and was the third biggest box office hit during the holiday. Two other local films also bet on the holiday season but could not beat the strong competition.

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