Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pee Mak is coming for you

Davika Hoorne, third from right, poses with fans in Jakarta. Director Banjong and other cast members are also present. Photo via GTH.

It's the hottest time of year in Thailand, and Pee Mak Phra Khanong fever has gripped the Kingdom. The hit ghost movie has reportedly reached 300 million baht in box-office takings and will rake in much more over the Songkran New Year's holiday weekend.

According to figures tracked down by blogger Richard Barrow, Pee Mak is now the all-time No. 2 Thai film, behind 2001's Suriyothai by MC Chatrichalerm Yukol, which earned 550 million baht. It's ahead of three of Chatrichalerm's Naresuan epics.

Visute Poolvoralucks, executive producer at GTH studio, told The Nation he thinks Pee Mak will surpass Suriyothai, especially if receipts from the new multiplexes upcountry are factored in. For now, only Bangkok and Chiang Mai cinemas are reported for the industry's box-office figures. As head of the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand, Visute might be able to fix that.

And soon there will be revenue from overseas to count.

Pee Mak premiered last Friday in Jakarta, with 1,000 screaming fans – mainly female from the looks of photos – turning up to be greeted by director Banjong Pisanthanakun and his stars, including Mario Maurer and "Mai" Davika Hoorne.

According to an Instagram from Banjong, the Hong Kong release will be on May 16 and Cambodia on May 23. Malaysia gets it on June 6 followed by Singapore on June 13. The Taiwan release is set for August 9. A Philippines release is also likely, given Mario's huge popularity there.

Fans with iPhones might want the Pee Mak phone cover. There are four cartoony designs of Mak, the stretchy armed Nak and Mak's four bumbling pals.

There's also a Nation editorial, praising the "artistic courage" it took to make the horror comedy. But be warned, if you haven't seen the movie, then don't read that editorial, because it contains spoilers.

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