13:37′ 06/01/2007 (GMT+7)
VietNamNet Bridge – In 2006, the movie market was bustling with investment, production and the sales of tens of movies. Yet, for the coming Tet holiday, which is supposedly a profitable season for movies, there will only be 3 films being introduced.

In 2006: A exciting market

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A scene from ‘Trai nhay’

About 10 big films were produced in both the north and the south. Private production companies vied with each other to pour a lot of money into new movies, each of which cost over 3 billion dong. Some movies such as Ha Dong Silk Dress (Phuoc Sang, Viet Film, and Anh Viet production companies), The Heroic Blood, and Saigon Solar Eclipse (international Vietnamese production companies), even cost millions of dollars. It is true that not all heavily-invested movies are intended for the domestic market on Tet. For instance, after scoring high at the Pusan Film Festival, Ha Dong Silk Dress has been trying to approach foreign production companies. As for The Heroic Blood and Saigon Solar Eclipse, they are being carefully embellished in order to enter the American market. These two movies will skip the Tet season in Vietnam because producers fear that they won’t be appropriate for a holiday mood.

Before Tet: A pathetic quietness

At this moment, only 3 films will be playing in theatres during Tet. Thien Nhan’s Male Dancers, with an investment of 3.5 billion dong (not including advertisement expenses) and with the advantage of having exclusive deals with Galaxy theatres and some others, is optimistically scheduled for a debut on January 9.

The director of Thien Ngan Company, Tran Vu Hoai, said with excitement, “The domestic film market witnessed great changes in 2006. The number of moviegoers in 2006 increased 20-25% compared to the year before. The number of Vietnamese and international films in theatres also increased 25-30%. These signs mean that more and more people are going to the theatres now. Tet is always the season for Vietnamese movies. This year there will be only 3 films, so I’m not worried about mine.”

Mr.Thai Hoa, the vice director of the Giai Phong production company, was also full of confidence: ” In 2005, our Marrying a Saigon Girl received 6 billion dong in revenues though the movie was shown after Tet and had low investment.” In 2006, with the government investment of over 1 billion dong to help it compete with private companies, Giai Phong spent another 1 billion of its own budget in Shoot As It Rings (in theatres on February 13) to improve the film’s quality. “We plan to spend 200 million more for advertisement,” said Mr. Hoa.

The director of Phuoc Sang is busily preparing to bring Fighter Stories to Hong Kong after it spends Tet in Vietnam. He promised surprising commercials for this movie.

It is currently unclear which theatres will play which of the three films. This uncertainty is an annual concern of all Vietnamese producers except Thien Ngan, which has its own theatre complexes. However, with only 3 films and the addition of the Megastar theatres in Hanoi, the movie race during the coming Tet will perhaps be less tense than usual.

(Source: Tuoi tre)