Belittling the King of Comedy

February 8, 2008

The tides have changed, the trends have shifted, the fad has passed, the world has evolved. (ok you probably get the gist)

mrbrown made the acute observation that most screens in Singapore are only offering 4 movies throughout this CNY festive season – Ah Long Pte Ltd, CJ7, Kung Fu Dunk and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Meanwhile, let’s take Sweeney Todd out of the picture of our discussion as it is evidently sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the other CNY feel-good movies. (The movie genre sticks out like a sore thumb in the first place, albeit in an interesting sort of way – a macabre gory musical – nice!)

The sad observation I have made is that, amongst GV screens at least, there seems to be a certain belittling of the King of Chinese Comedy in terms of box office draws and people pull, by said movie distributorship organisation. And this is in spite of the fact that Stephen Chow movies have been affirmed box office hits throughout the years. 

If you pay close attention to the Golden Village movie timeslots, of the three Chinese festive movies, it is Kung Fu Dunk which has been assigned the most movie timeslots, opening on more screens than the other two. And if you have bothered clicking on the timeslot links, you’d notice that the halls assigned for Kungfu Dunk seats more people than the halls reserved for CJ7 and Ah Long Pte Ltd

What, so they think Stephen Chow and Jack Neo cannot hold their ground against Jay Chou, who incidentally is more renowned for his music than his movies? As opposed to the former two who have made the movie industry his bread and butter throughout the years?

It has now become apparent that, through some close monitoring of their seats availability page (as I intend to catch a movie or two), seats in halls for Stephen Chow’s CJ7 and Jack Neo’s Ah Long Pte Ltd are ‘selling fast’ or ‘sold out’ despite it being so early in the day and the movies only being shown at night. Why then, do they not cater bigger halls for these movies, since movies by these directors have been confirmed box office draws in the past?

Of course detractors are bound to argue that in economical terms, more timeslots and bigger halls will eventually lead to a more even distribution of audiences for Jay Chou’s movie. On the other hand, why let this happen in the first place? Why not ensure a more even distribution of audiences for the other two movies as well?

The following are some screenshots of the seat availability of the three movies at selected cinemas at timeslots close to each other. (CAA 8th Feb 2008, 1205hrs GMT +8.00)

GV Tampines

Stephen Chow - CJ7 @ 2305hrs
CH7 @ 2305hrs
Jack Neo's Ah Long Pte Ltd @ 2240hrs 
Ah Long Pte Ltd @ 2240hrs

Jay Chou's KungFu Dunk @ 2250 hrs
Kungfu Dunk @ 2250hrs

GV Jurong Point 

GV Jurong Point - CJ7 @ 2130hrs
CJ7 @ 2130hrs
GV Jurong Pt - Ah Long Pte Ltd @ 2100hrs
Ah Long Pte Ltd @ 2000hrs
GV Jurong Pt - Kungfu Dunk
Kungfu Dunk @ 2105hrs

[Legend: Light blue means the seats are available, dark blue means the seats are taken, purple means the seats are “blocked” due to ongoing transactions]

On a sidenote, realise how people technically go “Jack Neo’s Ah Long Pte Ltd” and not “Mark Lee’s Ah Long Pte Ltd” or “Fann Wong’s Ah Long Pte Ltd”? Until someone actually goes Kevin Chu’s “Kungfu Dunk”, all the limelight is being taken away from him! (Though I doubt anyone can name him in the first place)

*Written by aR

2 Responses to “Belittling the King of Comedy”

  1. […] and Jack Neo’s Ah Long Pte Ltd emerged the frontrunners of the three Chinese New Year movies given the extent to which these movies were sidelined (especially by Golden Village) in favour of Jay Chou’s (oops, or rather, Kevin Chu’s) Kungfu […]

  2. nameless Says:

    if someone does a little more digging, they’ll find that kungfu dunk is partially singapore funded (as in by a singaporean, not by the govt).

    so i guess some string pulling happened to make sure they get back their money’s worth.

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