A bright year for Thai cinema

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NFTFA president Visoot Poolvaraluk said the local film industry will grow almost 100% this year to 2 billion baht, up from 1.1 billion baht last year. The two highlights of 2013 are King Naresuan 5 and Tom Yam Goong 2.

Another boost came from horror flick Pee Mak Phra Khanong which has raked in nearly 300 million baht within two weeks of its release.

Last year, ticket sales dropped 20% from 2011 because there were fewer movies with a broad appeal and most of them were love stories. Sixty-four Thai movies were released and only the romantic comedy ATM:Er Rak Error was a blockbuster, generating more than 100 million baht in ticket sales in 2012.

“We’re still confident about Thai creativity and production values. But the key problem for Thai movies is inconsistent quality,” Mr Visoot said.

Visoot: Confident about Thai creativity.

Moreover, the repetitive movie category is another key factor which makes the Thai film industry rigid, while the Korean film industry could grow more than its Thai counterpart.

At the same time, Hollywood’s focus on the Asian market poses another threat to local film producers as US film productions usually involve far higher investment than Thai productions.

Hollywood filmmakers have more marketing activities for Asia and release movies all-year round. Previously, they just had new movie releases during May to August.

“The survival of Thai filmmakers relies on the production of more localised content involving taste, language, culture and shared experiences. Consumer insight is a must and makes a difference,” Mr Visoot said.

Movie production will be increasingly based on the Asean market as well as Thai audiences, he added.

The opening of more cinemas by Thai operators such as Major Cineplex provides a big opportunity for local filmmakers as they will have a larger audience. In addition, some Thai films can gain revenue from overseas markets as well.

Thai films popular with foreign movie-goers include Bangkok Traffic (Rot Fai Fah Ma Ha Na Ter), Hello Stranger (Guan Mun Ho) and Suck Seed.

Another interesting area for Thai cinema is independent films which have a strong market and continue to grow in terms of quantity and diversity. They have created a new viewing channel on websites with a pay-per-view system.

Mr Visoot said he is working on establishing the Film Industry Promotion Agency after getting positive feedback from the government.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra recently held talks with NFTFA to use Thai movies as a marketing tool to promote the country’s tourist industry. “The government increasingly realises the importance of our film industry. We hope to see it support Thai films more such as signing joint agreements to promote them with other countries. This will eventually create more value for Thai films,” Mr Visoot said.

From: http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/344904/a-bright-year-for-thai-cinema


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