The big three
Sat, May 22, 2010
New Straits Times

THREE major film studios in the country drive the local film industry. Here's a look at each studio and it's current status.

Primeworks Studio Sdn Bhd, or formally known as Grand Brilliance Sdn Bhd.

In the past, Grand Brilliance churned out one box office hit after another. Among its most successful productions were the first Senario the Movie trilogy, Puteri Impian, Buli and Cinta.

The studio is currently headed by Ahmad Puad Onah.

Unfortunately, in the past few years, the studio has lost its "box office" touch.

Films like Cinta, Dunia Baru The Movie and Susuk were hits but their success were overshadowed by flops like Gong, Salon, Senario Pemburu Harta Karun Yamashita, Sepi, Talentime and Antoo Fighter, among others.

The company has since taken a safer route by doing more joint-venture projects with other studios.

Success stories have included Cicakman with KRU Studios, Evolusi KL Drift 1 and 2 with Skop Productions, Sifu & Tongga with Line Clear Motion Pictures, Mukhsin with MHZ Productions and Pisau Cukur with Red Films.

Yet there were also the failures such as 2 Hati 1 Jiwa and Rasukan Ablasa with Line Clear Motion Pictures.

Primeworks Studios' latest film, Hooperz, tanked, while its horror film, Janin is still in post-production after two years.

It has two joint-venture films with Line Clear -- Ratu and 4 Madu -- which will determine the studio's future as a leading film production company.

Tayangan Unggul Sdn Bhd

Currently headed by Gayatri Su-Lin Pillai, is another major film studio. It has the backing of media giant -- Astro All Asia Network.

Tayangan Unggul produced box office hits such as KL Menjerit, Laila Isabella, Zombie Kampung Pisang, Histeria and Papadom.

However, it also churned out box office failures -- Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang, Bintang Hati, Syaitan and Setem. Its most recent film, Duhai Si Pari-Pari, bombed.

Its sister company, Astro Shaw, responsible for producing joint-venture films with foreign film companies, also fared badly. Its joint-venture with Indonesia's Tarantulla Pictures -- Diva and Tipu Kanan Tipu Kiri -- tanked in both countries.

It's third project with Tarantulla is Lagenda Budak Setan which will open on June 3.

Astro Shaw actually has one box office hit in its hands -- the controversial Dukun, a film loosely based on the infamous Mona Fandey. But the film will not be released due to its controversial content.

As for Tayangan Unggul, its next film is the superhero comedy, Kapoww!! which will open on June 17.

Last year, the company slowed down its production due to economic uncertainties.

Productions resumed early this year with titles like Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah and Misteri Jalan Lama.

Tayangan Unggul is producing about eight films a year.

Metrowealth Movies Productions is the most active film production company in the country.

Headed by David Teo, the studio is so far, the most successful film company, consistently producing box office films.

It also has the most films that hit over RM4 million at the box office -- Remp-It, Jangan Pandang Belakang, Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak, Senario The Movie Episod 1 and V3 Samseng Jalanan.

The studio also has Malaysia's biggest box office film -- Adnan Sempit that collected RM7.8 million.

Its other titles like Congkak, Jangan Tegur, Syurga Cinta, Senario The Movie Episod 2 Beach Boys, Santau and Semerah Cinta Stilleto, made between RM2 million and RM3.5 million each.

The company has a list of box office titles waiting for release -- Zoo, Senario Asam Garam, Mantra, Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak 2 and Keramat.

It also has more than five titles in post-production -- Aku Masih Dara, Cuti-Cuti Cinta, Nyangkung, and Damping Malam.

The studio is targeting to produce at least 20 films a year.

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