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Vietnam - one of Asia's fastest growing cinema markets: US news site

Tuesday, 27/02/2024 | 14:58:56 [GMT +7] A  A

Deadline.com, a US premier news source covering the business of entertainment, including movies, television, online, digital and related areas, has described Vietnam as one of Asia’s fastest-growing cinema markets.

A scene from "Mai" directed by comedian Tran Than. (Photo: thanhnien.vn)

In an article entitled “How Vietnam Has Become One Of Asia’s Fastest Growing Markets With New Multiplexes, A Movie-Hungry Audience & Vibrant Local Film Biz” published on February 23, Liz Shackleton wrote that some Vietnamese film-makers shared their views to draw a positive bright outlook for Vietnam’s film industry.

According to the article, although the previously state-run industry only opened its doors 10-15 years ago, box office was growing at a steady clip of 10% annually before the pandemic, overtaking Thailand, which has a much more developed and longer-established film industry.

The Lunar New Year is a key box office period in several Asian territories, but nowhere was it more hotly contested this year than in Vietnam, where several local, Japanese and Hollywood movies were slugging it over the week-long holidays (February 9-15), it said.

Tran Thanh‘s Mai, a romantic drama that delves into the psychology of its female protagonist, was the clear winner — at the time of writing it was topping the box office with a haul of 400 billion VND (16.4 million USD). Produced by Tran Thanh Town and CJ HK Entertainment, a joint venture between the Republic of Korea’s CJ ENM and local outfit HKFilm, the film has the potential to break the record set by Tran Thanh’s own The House of No Man, released this time last year, which is Vietnam’s highest ever grossing film with 476 billion VND (19.4 million USD).

Last year, Vietnam’s box office reached 150 million USD, or around 90% of pre-pandemic levels, from a total of 1,100 screens. Not bad for a market that in 2010 only had 90 screens and annual revenue of less than 15 million USD.

The growth is due to a few factors, but one of the biggest is the multiplex building programmes undertaken by Korean exhibitors CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema, along with local studios Galaxy Cinema and BHD Star Cineplex, the site said.

Recently, Vietnam has also seen the emergence of hip new cinema chains, such as Beta Cinemas and Cinestar, which offer lower ticket prices aimed at students and middle-income cinema-goers.

Also driving the market is a lively local production sector that is experimenting with new genres and making a wider range of films - again an achievement considering that private companies were only allowed to start producing in the mid-2000s.

The RoK’s CJ ENM and Lotte are also active in financing and producing Vietnamese-language movies - CJ with films such as Mai and The House Of No Man and Lotte with titles including Le Van Kiet’s 2019 action film Furie and Victor Vu’s recent period drama The Last Wife.

“It’s a very young audience - we estimate that up to 80% are under the age of 29,” said CJ HK Distribution Supervisor Nguyen Tuan Linh.

“So that age group is dictating the tastes of the market: Local romance, comedy and horror as well as movies from the RoK, Thailand and Indonesia.”

Justin Kim, CJ ENM’s Head of International Film Production, added that it’s also a demanding and unforgiving audience: “They’re very active on social media, especially TikTok and Instagram, and will react quickly if they think the quality of a movie is not so good.”

Source: Nhan Dan