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"Histeria" home honours

Writer: Lai Swee Wei


"Histeria" helmer James Lee

6 Jan – During the recent school break, Malaysian movies like "Wayang", "Selamat Pagi Cinta", "Los Dan Faun", "Histeria", "Antoo Fighter", "Cicakman 2: Planet Hitam" made the screens on wide release under the wajib tayang rule (compulsory screening). Highly publicised films like "Cicak-man 2: Planet Hitam" and "Antoo Fighter" were expected to be a hit at the box office, but unfortunately performed poorly against competing Hollywood blockbusters like "Bolt", "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa", "Twilight" and "Australia".

Although expectations were riding high on "Cicak-man 2", the sequel didn't manage to break its previous record of about RM6 million. According to estimates from online tracker boxofficemojo.com, the big budget film raked in only RM2.7 million by the last weekend of 2008, a far cry from the first film in 2006. Local media also reported that the cumulative gross for "Antoo Fighter" is only about RM 1.1 million.

However, the good news for the holiday season came in the form of local horror-thriller "Histeria", DV auteur James Lee's first mainstream film produced by Tayangan Unggul. The movie opened against "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and "Yes Man" on 18 December 2008 but managed to gross around RM 3 million at the time of publishing.

The film's modest success can be seen as a way to negate recent assumptions that local films are suffering at the hands of Hollywood heavyweights, which was reported to have given rise to the proposal by the Malaysian Film Producers Association (PFM) to hike up ticket prices for Hollywood films as a way to curb local films performing poorly at the box office.


Cinema Online, 06 January 2009

Related Movies:
HISTERIA (Malay) (18 Dec 2008)
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