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Vietnam one of Asia’s fastest growing cinema markets: US news site

Vietnam one of Asia’s fastest growing cinema markets: US news site

Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 17:00 GMT+7
Vietnam one of Asia’s fastest growing cinema markets: US news site
A screening of Vietnamese film ‘Mai’ in Australia during the 2024 Lunar New Year holiday and Valentine’s Day. Photo: Supplied

Deadline.com, a U.S. news source focusing on the entertainment industry, including movies, television, online, digital, and related sectors, has described Vietnam as one of Asia’s rapidly expanding cinema markets.

In an article titled 'How Vietnam Has Become One of Asia’s Fastest Growing Markets With New Multiplexes, a Movie-Hungry Audience & Vibrant Local Film Biz,' published on February 23, Liz Shackleton highlights Vietnamese filmmakers’ positive outlook on the country’s film industry. 

The article notes that although Vietnam’s film industry opened up only 10-15 years ago, its box office was steadily growing at 10 percent annually before the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing Thailand, which has a more established film industry. 

The Lunar New Year (Tet) period was particularly competitive in the Vietnamese cinema market this year, with local, Japanese, and Hollywood movies vying for box office dominance during the week-long holiday from February 9 to 15. 

‘Mai,’ a romantic drama directed by Vietnamese comedian and television presenter Tran Thanh exploring the psyche of its female lead, emerged as the clear winner, topping the box office with earnings of over VND476 billion (US$19.3 million) as of Monday. 

Produced by Tran Thanh Town and CJ HK Entertainment, a joint venture between South Korea’s CJ ENM and local outfit HKFilm, ‘Mai’ broke the earning record of VND476 billion set by Tran Thanh’s ‘The House of No Man,’ released during Tet last year, as Vietnam’s highest-grossing film. 

A screenshot of Deadline.com's headline “How Vietnam Has Become One of Asia’s Fastest Growing Markets With New Multiplexes, a Movie-Hungry Audience & Vibrant Local Film Biz”

A screenshot of Deadline.com's headline 'How Vietnam Has Become One of Asia’s Fastest Growing Markets With New Multiplexes, a Movie-Hungry Audience & Vibrant Local Film Biz'

Deadline.com highlights that the local industry’s bustling release schedule “reflects a vibrant market,” which has experienced “stellar post-pandemic recovery - by some counts the second-fastest recovery in Asia following India.”

Vietnam’s box office earned $150 million last year, equivalent to around 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, operating on a total of 1,100 screens, compared to just 90 screens and an annual revenue of less than $15 million in 2010. 

This growth can be attributed to various factors, including multiplex building programs by South Korean exhibitors CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema, as well as local studios Galaxy Cinema and BHD Star Cineplex. 

Vietnam has seen the rise of new cinema chains like Beta Cinemas and Cinestar, offering affordable ticket prices targeting students and middle-income moviegoers. 

Additionally, a vibrant local production sector has contributed to the market’s growth, with private companies venturing into film production since the mid-2000s. 

South Korea’s CJ ENM and Lotte are actively involved in financing and producing Vietnamese-language movies, backing titles such as ‘Mai,’ ‘The House of No Man,’ ‘Furie,’ and ‘The Last Wife.’

Moviegoers at a box office of Beta Cinemas. Photo: Beta Cinemas

Moviegoers at a box office of Beta Cinemas. Photo: Beta Cinemas

“It’s a very young audience -- we estimate that up to 80 percent are under the age of 29,” CJ HK distribution supervisor Nguyen Tuan Linh told Deadline.com.

“So that age group is dictating the tastes of the market: local romance, comedy, and horror, as well as movies from South Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia [are all popular]."

Justin Kim, head of International Film Production at CJ ENM, further emphasized that the Vietnamese audience is discerning and demands high-quality content.

“They’re very active on social media, especially TikTok and Instagram, and will react quickly if they think the quality of a movie is not so good,” Kim told deadline.com.

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