Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No Naresuan means not as much cash for Major Cineplex this year

Thailand's biggest cinema chain, Major Cineplex, has lowered its revenue-growth forecast for this year, saying it sees a bump of around 10 percent to 15 percent this year instead of 20 to 30 percent, according to an item on Page A4 in The Nation business daily today.

The reason for the revised revenue figures is because the planned December release of Naresuan 3 has been postponed until sometime next year.

Major Cineplex chief executive Vicha Poolvaraluck was quoted as saying that attendance had not dropped off, but fewer films were being released in the third quarter.

Directed by MC Chatrichalerm Yukol and based on the legendary military exploits of the late 14th century-early 15th century Siamese monarch, Naresuan the Great, the first two Naresuan films were box-office blockbusters in Thailand in 2007, together earning more than 500 million baht.

The release dates for all the films in the series have been routinely pushed back as shooting on the elaborate production continues. The most recent news from the set was that action star Dan Chupong will replace Tony Jaa in the role of a slave in Naresuan 3. Jaa was recently having trouble completing his film, Ong-Bak 2, which will be released this coming December 5 -- the date originally set for the release of Naresuan 3.

Naresuan 1, released in January 2007, dealt with Prince Naresuan's boyhood, during which he was held hostage in the rival Burmese kingdom of Pegu. Naresuan 2 covered the prince's years as a young man and some of his early military triumphs.

Retitled King of Fire, the more explosive Naresuan 2 was Thailand's submission for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It screened at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Earlier this year, Naresuan 1 and 2 played at the New York Asian Film Festival, where they scored high in the audience polls. Both films were also screened at last year's Pusan International Film Festival.

(Via The Nation)

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