Local movies fall flat on Raya

Writer: Elaine Ewe

(Left) Sylvester Stallone and internet sensation himself, Chuck Norris, exchanging words in "The Expendables 2".

23 Aug – Malaysian moviegoers were in for a laidback weekend in conjunction with the Raya holidays, which saw them catching up with much-needed family time and sleep at home as opposed to being stuck in the hair-pulling traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur for a majority of the day. Among the activities that were done in families included watching "The Expendables 2" on its opening week (16 – 19 Aug) despite the absence of the Raya showtimes publication in the papers due to the public holidays. This was a surprise, as it was expected that new local releases Azahari Zain's horror comedy "Seram Sejuk" and Syafiq Yusof's romantic thriller "SAM" would at least net a spot in the top three, but no. Instead, another local Malay movie, "Hantu Gangster", rose up to second, swapping places with "Step Up Revolution" to round up the top three.

It was a slow weekend in the U.S. as well, despite the lack of Raya celebrations. New release "The Expendables 2" opened at top spot to a weekend total gross of US$28.6, overtaking Tony Gilroy's "The Bourne Legacy". It would also appear that Simon West's action earned more than "The Dark Knight Rises" this weekend, although there were fewer admission tickets were sold compared to the 2010 original. Much like the original, "The Expendables 2" sees most of the cast returning along with a few new ones, at the behest of Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat. Meanwhile, Laika's latest, "ParaNorman", had a modest opening at third spot. The stop-motion animated adventure horror film tells the story of a boy named Norman Babcock, who is ostracized by his family while being ridiculed and bullied by most of his peers for his ability to speak with the dead. But Norman soon becomes the town of Blithe Hollow's only hope to save themselves from the cursed dead when they arise.

In Singapore, there was also a lack of Raya cheer and Malay movies, hence, saw "The Expendables 2" opening in first place. Pixar's "Brave" managed to maintain its second spot due to the lukewarm competition while "The Bourne Legacy" replaced "Total Recall" in third place.

The 38th Governor of California himself also makes an appearance in this muscle-packed movie.

For Malaysia, new movies that opened last week were "Sammy 2", "The Expendables 2", "ParaNorman", "Ek Tha Tiger", "Naan", "Etho Seithai Ennai" and "Pandi Oli Perukki Nilayam".

For Singapore, new movies that opened last week were "Ek Tha Tiger", "Greedy Ghost", "The Silent War" and "Rock Of Ages".

Box office takings for the weekend just gone (16 August - 19 August 2012)
1) The Expendables 2     
2) Hantu Gangster
3) Step Up Revolution     
4) Total Recall
5) The Bourne Legacy
6) ParaNorman
7) Sammy 2
8) The Three Stooges     
9) The Dark Knight Rises
10) SAM
1) The Expendables 2
2) Brave
3) The Bourne Legacy
4) Greedy Ghost
5) The Dark Knight Rises
6) Rock Of Ages
7) Magic Mike
8) Total Recall
9 )The Silent War
10) Ice Age 4: Continental Drif
Cinema Online, 23 August 2012