CNY Movies: Round #1

February 13, 2008

It is interesting how Stephen Chow’s CJ7 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 Dunk.

As reported in the 12 Feb 08 edition of mypaper, Stephen Chow is the undisputed box office champion over the Chinese New Year period in Singapore, making S$2 million. This also broke the record set by Chow’s previous film Kungfu Hustle, which, at S$1.89 million, was the biggest opening weekend for all Chinese films released in Singapore’s history. Jack Neo’s Ah Long Pte Ltd garnered $1.47 million, while Jay Chou’s Kungfu Dunk earned a rather measly $1.4 million (in comparison to the other two movies). Given the similar amounts of advertising of all 3 movies, and the strong popularity of the leads in all the three movies, I admit that Jay Chou’s meagre box office takings do come as a surprise.

Now, just consider this. If local movie distributors had actually allocated even more movie timeslots and larger cinema halls for the screening of CJ7 and Ah Long Pte Ltd, which incidentally played to a lot of sell-out shows, the figures you see will not be just S$2 million and S$1.4 million, but much higher than that (Who knows, CJ7 could have even hit the $3 million-mark!!)

Within the same article, Mr Jack Neo made a preposterous, nonsensical and baffling statement which does not have a reasoning behind.

Quoting the relevant paragraphs from the article:
The strong opening was a morale boost for Neo, whose movie was largely panned by critics. “When I make a film, I insist on quality. My movies are not rubbish. I made them with a conscience.”
He added with a laugh: “I think my detractors are very disappointed”.

Now it is understandable that Mr Neo is driven with all the ecstasy in the world given the positive box office takings his movie has taken in over the opening weekend (He even managed to beat Jay Chou!)

However, on the same note, the following equation which he is trying to imply oh-so-boastfully-yet-delusionally is irksome: Good box office takings = High Quality movies

Since when did such an equation ever exist? High quality movies is merely a subset of movies with good box office takings. Movies with good box office showings does NOT have to be of high quality and critically-acclaimed, they just need to have the right audience appeal.

Mr Neo seems to be implying that his movie is better than those Academy Award-nominated ones such as “Juno”, “La Vie En Rose”, “The Diving Bell and Butterfly”, “Away From Her”, “Atonement” for example, which evidently are unable to match “Ah Long Pte Ltd” in terms of box office showings, due to a lack of mass appeal for the local audiences.

Equating the above theory to the Chinese music scene, it appears that indie musicians such as sodagreen and Cheer Chen, who do not sell as well as boybands like Fahrenheit and Lollipop (Yeah, I know, the names of Chinese boybands are getting from bad to worse. And you thought 5566 was corny enough?), had better start finding a change of day jobs. They do not sell as well as those boybands, so, given the theory which Mr Neo swears by, what’s with their indie credentials? Fahrenheit and Lollipop are the better singers with the better songs what!

All this, is just delusional crap and self-indulgence. Doh.

One Response to “CNY Movies: Round #1”

  1. sonicrafter Says:

    Thank you for sharing the details. I found the info incredibly helpful.

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