Cinemas to woo moviegoers with Asian titles

29 Jun 2020 / 10:30 H.

PETALING JAYA: The cinema industry is looking to get back on its feet by bringing in Asian titles to woo moviegoers back.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a number of blockbuster movie postponements and cinemas being forced to close during the movement control order.

The release of the James Bond film No Time to Die was pushed back seven months from April to November this year. Similarly delayed are Warner Bros’ Witches, Wonder Woman 1984, and Godzilla vs Kong among others.

Meanwhile, there have been calls to give Malaysian productions a better shot at the big screen.

MBO Cinemas chief operations officer Cheah Chun Wai said for the month of July, a Korean hit sequel was set to take centre stage alongside a couple of Western releases.

“The most anticipated movie of the month will be Korean zombie sequel Train to Busan 2: The Peninsula.

“There is also Disney’s Mulan and Warner Bros’ Tenet,” he told theSun yesterday.

The rest of the month’s roster is dominated by movies such as Kaiji: Final Game from Japan, Low Season from Thailand, and other releases from Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Cheah said although growing costs were a concern, customer satisfaction is still a priority.

“The cost of disinfecting and sanitising will be substantial, but worth it as we want to reassure moviegoers. We are serious in combating Covid-19.

“Plans for promotions are being drawn up with all stakeholders and will be announced in due time on our platforms.”

Avid moviegoer L. Nadeson said he has been eagerly awaiting the Train to Busan sequel since its announcement earlier this year.

“I’ve been waiting to watch the movie, and I’ll probably book my tickets as soon as they come out,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chan Teik Quan, an award-winning Malaysian film director, said this was a chance for cinemas to screen more local movies.

“A lot of local people think Malaysian cinema isn’t so good. This is quite biased as Malaysian cinema started with such a good reputation with the likes of P. Ramlee and Mat Sentol,” he said.

Chan, whose short film Setting Moon won the Kancil 666 Young Directors Challenge last year and was nominated at the Bali International Short Film Festival, said things were now changing.

“We’re making so many good movies such as Jagat and Fly By Night which are internationally acclaimed. Unfortunately, Fly By Night was only given two weeks in the cinemas.

“Both moviegoers and cinemas have to throw away their bias and open up to local films,” he added.

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