The typical benchmark for collection for a successful local film is RM20m and at least 3 local films are pushing beyond that level, says PFM CEO
By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK
With Paskal the Movie still racing alongside international titles and Munafik 2 already collecting over RM40 million, the local film industry is set to hit numbers higher than expected.
Malaysian Film Producers Association (PFM) CEO Zahrin Aris said, while the typical benchmark for collection for a successful local film is RM20 million, at least three local films are pushing beyond that level so far this year.
“Munafik 2 that began screening in August has hit past RM40 million and is pulling unexpected numbers. So, it is not a surprise if Paskal, that has so far grossed over RM22 million, hit numbers that are like its international counterparts,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.
He said the movies are collecting more than expected as both hit the right notes with the audience.
“Hantu Kak Limah, for example, is a comedy that works with the locals, much like the sequel to Munafik that has its own following as well,” he said.
According to National Film Development Corp Malaysia’s feature film screening 2018 statistics to date, Munafik 2 had netted RM37.74 million, followed by Hantu Kak Limah (RM36.23 million), KL Special Force (RM12.22 million), Lee Chong Wei: Rise of the Legend (RM4.75 million) and A House of Happiness (RM1.57 million).
However, Zahrin said Paskal is likely to be part of the list soon.
The overall total year grossing stands at RM101.34 million out of the 39 films released so far, a 78.54% increase compared to the total RM56.76 million that was collected last year.
However, Zahrin said the big numbers are mainly registered by the top five films.
He added that ticket sales have also been fuelled by word of mouth and social media sharing.
“With online discussion becoming more frequent nowadays, people will always be at least somewhat affected by the things people say and they all want to watch something good.
“When somebody posts saying that a movie was enjoyable, their friends and viewers will want to give it a look too,” he said.
On top of social media, he added that movies with good marketing strategies are also likely to hit the spots for the audience.
“Most of the movies that are top-grossing this year have worked with Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd as their marketing partner, which helps in gathering the audience,” he said.
Zahrin, however, laments the lack of support from the government, particularly to curb piracy, which is still one of the industry’s main concern.
“Entertainment is important, but we lack the support from the government to curb and lessen piracy, as well as the encouragement for the industry’s development,” he said.
He added that it is highly important for the government to back the industry because it has thrived and provided entertainment tax.
“The entertainment tax is about 25% of what we get, and we pay it upfront instead of post-screening or at the end of the year.
“It is actually collected on the spot from every ticket purchase, so why don’t we receive some support and more laws against piracy?” he said.
Zahrin said the higher returns this year might not be an easy feat to repeat in upcoming years.
“Each movie takes over 1½ years to work on — proper films, that is. We release about 55 to 60 films in a year. Of which, only 10 might make more than others,” he said.