Friday, April 2, 2010

Cartoon vikings defeat Bang Rajan paladins in box-office battle

The Dreamworks Animation 3D tale How to Train Your Dragon, about a meek viking teenager who befriends a dragon, was the No. 1 movie in Thailand last weekend, topping the Thai live-action historical battle epic Bang Rajan 2 (บางระจัน ๒).

Bang Rajan 2, or as Box Office Mojo calls it, Bang Rajan 2: Reunion of the Paladins, was in second place, earning $237,792 (about 7.68 million baht), just a bit under Dragon's earnings. Bang Rajan 2 was on 89 screens vs. Dragon's 84. Higher-priced 3D screenings, including IMAX, were likely the key to Dragon's winning this fight.

Bang Rajan 2, directed by Thanit Jitnukul and released by Phranakorn Film, is followed on the chart by two more Thai releases -- Sahamongkol's "monks-with-guns" crime drama Shadow of the Naga (Nak Prok), which was the previous weekend's No. 1, and GTH's childhood comedy The Little Comedian (Baan Chan ... Talok Wai Gon (Por Son Wai)).

The top five is rounded out with the Hollywood rom-com, When in Rome.

A fourth Thai film, the teen-oriented romance starring "Poy" Treechada Marnyaporn, With Love ... Duay Rak, released on March 24, was in 10th place, earning around a half a million baht. It was released by indie house 96 Films.

The current week is fairly light, with the major Thai release being Saranae Siblor, a road trip comedy from Sahamongkol starring heartthrob Mario Maurer. It's up against the major Hollywood release Clash of Titans, which is released in both 3D and 2D, though it seems pretty pointless to spend the extra money on 3D. Better yet, head over to the Apex cinemas in Siam Square and catch Zhang Yimou's Blood Simple remake, A Gun, a Woman and a Noodle Shop.

The coming week is the start of a busy time on the Thai-movie calendar with three closely-packed releases by the studios.

First will be M39 Pictures' breakdancing drama Big Boy coming out on Tuesday, April 6, in celebration of the Chakri Day public holiday.

Post-production and animation house Katana heralds its return to live-action feature films with the Saturday, April 10, release of the historical battle epic Kon Tai Ting Pandin (The Edge of the Empire).

And Oriental Eyes' karmic ghost thriller 9 Wat (Secret Sunday) comes out on Tuesday, April 13, for the long Songkran Thai New Year holiday.

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