Which of these made the most money at the Malaysian box office?
Close to 80 (77 and counting as of 15 December) local movies of various languages have been produced and released in Malaysian cinemas in 2014. While these numbers goes to show that the output of movies made by local studios are still at an overwhelming rate, its quality to appeal to more Malaysian audiences still leaves much to be desired.
That's not to paint a bleak picture of the industry, if not quite the opposite, as 2014 will most likely be a more memorable year than most in recent years. There are signs of hope with newer and brighter talents who are willing to take the risk in trying out new ideas or finding new ways of telling stories, even if they had not broken through the box office. Although some of these had to find acclaim elsewhere, we certainly hope that these filmmakers would persevere in their craft in order to be appreciated locally, and bring the change that this industry desperately needs as we enter the new year.
This major joint production between Chinese resources with Malay talents did seem to have all the makings of a winner in the box office that would draw on the appeals that both sides could muster on the box office front. Starring Rosyam Nor as a wanted hitman, Adi Putra as a cop and Jack Lim as a crippled father, this Silver directed actioner had plenty of high budgeted set pieces. If only it could spend more money on the writing side of things. While its initial target of making more than RM10 million at the box office seemed like a far-fetched dream in comparison to its total box office, it did manage to become the fifth highest grossing local movie in the country, collecting RM2.27 million by the end of its 3 week theatre run.
Release Date: 9 January
Total Collection: RM2,270,764
4. Huat Ah! Huat Ah! Huat!
What could only look like a 2 hour long commercial of Ah Huat White Coffee might not be able to draw even the most hardcore caffeine addicts, but it is most likely the star power of Ah Niu which had drawn in the Chinese audience. As a dim-witted grandson of a coffee shop owner, Ah Huat must find a way to save the coffee shop with the help of his village friends, when his grandfather is taken ill. Director Tan Boon Huat manages to direct a wholesome, if less extravagant, alternative to the Chinese New Year movies that were available upon its release date, and it did manage to do a brisk business of RM3.6 million after staying for more than 4 weeks in cinemas.
Release Date: 6 February
Total Collection: RM3,603,832
3. Ah Beng the Movie: Mission Impossible
After the tremendous success of "Ah Beng the Movie: Three Wishes", there is really little in stopping MyFM DJ Jack Lim from becoming the staple security guard come every Chinese New Year from then on. After stretching the time travel premise (and with a bigger budget), Ah Beng gets sent to Korea for a dangerous mission that pays well, even if he has to forfeit his leave to spend Chinese New Year with his family and friends. Almost repeating the success of "Three Wishes", this grand adventure of Ah Beng returned more than RM1 million reward that he was promised, when it made RM4.08 million at the box office. Making it the choice of Malaysian Chinese cinemagoers who need to laugh their pants off for Chinese New Year that would last for 5 weeks in our cinemas.
Release Date: 23 January
2. Abang Long Fadil
Riding on the coattails that is the "KL Gangster" series, young director Syafiq Yusof makes his second outing with an action comedy spinoff of the "KL Gangster" franchise. This time centered on the weaselly Fadil (Zizan Rizak); who is tasked to accomplish the impossible by taking on the denizens and 'protectors' of Kampung Berani; this spin-off had the trademarks of anyone who had hoped to see from a "KL Gangster" movie. Over-the-top action, explosive set pieces and now with the added benefit of imitation Transformers roaming on the streets for the epic battle. That does seem to give the audience what they want and it made RM4.6 million at the Malaysian box office over its 4 week run. So what's next? Aliens and superheroes coming to KL?
Release Date: 29 May
Total Collection: RM4,610,811
1. The Journey
If there is only one reason why 2014 would not be easily forgotten, it would be because of "The Journey". Making a big splash of RM2.2 million on its opening week, "The Journey" was already making profits that most of the local productions could dream of in its entire theatrical run. As weeks went on, the figures were climbing at a rate that was breaking records every way, until it passed the RM11 million mark made by "KL Gangster", as the highest grossing Malaysian movie at the box office. Fronted by a cast of every lay man, woman and child the production could find across the 8 locations it was shot, "The Journey" did have its share of flaws that could not be covered by the experienced technical crew led by director Chiu Keng Guan. But those flaws were abundantly made up by its story with a heart following a conservative and strict father who wants to make sure that the foreigner his daughter is marrying to is the right choice for her. By the end of its 8 week-long stay at the cinemas (a likely first for any local production), "The Journey" collected a total of RM17.17 million, making it the highest grossing Malaysian movie of 2014 and all time.
Release Date: 30 January
Total Collection: RM17,170,341
Cinema Online, 30 December 2014