Friday, March 5, 2010

Thai horror and comedy trounce Oscar nominees

The Thai psychological horror Who Are You (Krai ... Nai Hong) and the military boot-camp comedy Kongphan Kruekkruen Tor Tahan Kuekkuk (Jolly Rangers), topped the Thai box office at the end of February, handily outperforming two Oscar-nominated movies that opened the same weekend.

Sahamongkol's Who Are You earned $350,848, around 11.4 million baht, to take the top spot on the Box Office Mojo chart for February 25-28. Starring veteran screen and television actress Sinjai Plengpanich and based on a story by popular comic book writer Eakasit Thairatana, the thriller is about the mystery of a boy who's locked himself away in his bedroom.

Phranakorn's Kongphan Kruekkruen Tor Tahan Kuekkuk was a close No. 2. It's a slapstick farce about four young men who are drafted into the army and are sent to boot camp.

Both the homegrown films dominated the box-office in the run up to the Academy Awards, when Thai multiplexes heavily advertise with statuette-laden posters. But the two nominees, Up in the Air, put on just 10 screens, and The Hurt Locker, even more limited with just two, didn't even make the Top 10. The two Thai films were allotted 100 screens. But would Thai audiences go see George Clooney collect frequent-flier miles or Jeremy Renner defuse bombs if those movies were on 100 screens?

No. 3 was the Denzel Washington post-apocalyptic Bible-thumper Book of Eli. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, which had been No. 1 the previous two weeks, was in fourth. Yeun Woo-ping's True Legend, which had been in second place, was in fifth.

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