English subtitles likely will not be offered on these DVDs and VCDs, but the quality of the films will be pristine, says Five Star executive director Aphiradee "Amy" Iamphungphorn.
The first issue is Boonchu (บุญชู orBoonchoo), the start of an eight-film teen romantic comedy series directed by Bhandit Rittakol in the 1980s and early '90s. The Boonchu DVD went on sale over the weekend, and 2,000 copies have already been sold even though the disc has not been distributed in all shops, according to The Nation. Rentals will start next month. Also, pre-orders are being taken for a box set of the existing films in the Boonchu series through Five Star's Thai Movies Wiki.
By next month, Boonchu 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be ready for sale, Amy says. Boonchu 3 and 4 seem to be missing in action from the six-disc box set.
Five Star has a back catalog of around 250 films, stretching back to the 1970s, when the company was founded. It plans to issue 20 of them in the Five Star Remastered line.
Here is more from The Nation article:
To remaster the movies, Aphiradee said the company had hired two companies – Kantana and The Post – to remove all flaws in the old films and record a perfect version in digital format for further recording onto DVD and VCD copies. The two companies started the process two years ago.
Aphiradee said the new business plan created added value for all its films and helped the company once again make money from the old movies after they have been sitting quietly for a very long time.
“We know that these old movies have their fans. We have already seen the high demand with the first movie that we started selling last Saturday. Buyers were people of various ages, from grandmothers to working people,” Aphiradee said.
The company has a special department to run the new business. Aphiradee said the sales should account for 20 per cent of Five Star’s revenue this year, which would be 500 million baht.
Five Star’s core business is producing Thai movies for show in local theatres and for further sales to international broadcast operators. This year it has allocated Bt300 million to produce movies.
She estimated the whole Thai movie industry this year would not see obvious growth from last year due to the current economic uncertainty.
Five Star is mining more nostalgia with Red Eagle, a 1950s and '60s action film series that starred Mitr Chaibancha and Petchara Chaowarat. Tears of the Black Tiger director Wisit Sasanatieng, a devotee of the old Thai films, is directing a reboot of the series, with Ananda Everingham cast in the lead. If the first film does well, it will be continued with a second part already written by Wisit.
Five Star is also behind the hit Art of the Devil series, with the third film still raking in receipts in local cinemas. I'm too scared to go see it.
Meanwhile, the veteran director Bhandit is at work on Boonchu 9, which reunites the classic screen couple of Santisuk Promsiri and Jintara Sukapat. Apinya "Saiparn" Sakuljaroensuk from Ploy will be featured in the new film, due to open sometime this August. Apinya, by the way, has had her hair straightened back out since her appearance as the Afro-haired title character in Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Ploy (a Five Star production). She appears in rival studio GTH's horror anthology, 4bia, which opens tomorrow.