Where are the 'Idols' fans?
Sat, Feb 20, 2010
New Straits Times

JACLYN Victor, Vince Chong, Asmawi Ani, Faizal Ramly (Faizal AF4) and Noorsyarmilla Jirin (Mila AF5) have two things in common. The five were winners of reality TV programmes. And all five can't get their fans to support their movies.

This is based on box office collections of their respective films.

Jaclyn Victor acted in Talentime directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad. The Malaysian Idol winner was praised by critics and she even nabbed the Most Promising Actress award at the recent Malaysian Film Festival and Anugerah Skrin.

Yet, the film took less than RM500,000 (S$207,600) at the local box office.

Faizal AF4 spearheaded Pulau Asmara that opened in November last year.

The film tanked and disappeared from cinema halls after a week of screening due to poor response. The film made less than RM100,000.

Mila AF5's Lu Pikirlan Sendiri De Movie which opened recently also received the cold shoulder from fans.

As for Mawi, despite being the most successful Akademi Fantasi "product", his first film, Jin Notti only made RM2 million at the box office.

Vince Chong played the lead in the love story, Sembilu 2005 produced by Skop Productions. It collected only about RM1.5 million, one of Skop Productions' lowest grossing films.

The question is, where were the fans who had voted for them to become reality programme winners?

This phenomenon of fans not supporting their 'idols' at the movies is not confined to Malaysia, however. It also happens in Hollywood.

Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, the winner and runner-up of the first American Idol, were the main stars of From Justin To Kelly (2003), a musical romance that tanked at the box office.

One of the few reality programme stars to make it big as an actress is Jennifer Hudson. Dreamgirls, and Sex and the City -- both in which Hudson had starring roles -- were box office hits.

Locally, besides the five winners, runners-up of reality programmes -- Adam AF2, Zarina AF2, Marsha AF3, Dafi AF4 and Ebi Cornalis AF4 -- had also appeared in movies that flopped.

Even Faizal Tahir's appearance in Lu Pikirlah Sendiri De Movie could not turn the film into a box office hit.

One of the reasons why their films did not make it could be because they did not deliver what their fans wanted.

Jaclyn Victor's fans would have expected her to sing and show off her vocal prowess in Talentime, just like what Jennifer Hudson did in Dreamgirls. She did not deliver.

Here's my personal guide to what might work for these reality stars.

For Jaclyn Victor, give her a meaty role in a rags-to-riches story. It may sound cliche, but a story about a struggling singer who finds fame might lure her fans to the cinemas. Throw in a Malay boyfriend to portray "a love conflict", and a powerful ballad as the theme song and the film might become a box office hit;

Mawi has always been seen as the good boy from Felda. Thus, the best role for him would be one as a religious man. A religious-themed film like Syurga Cinta might do the trick. Perhaps director Khabir Bathia should consider him for Nur Kasih The Movie, based on the hit TV series;

Mila AF5 is petite and pretty and fans just want her to be herself. Although a local version of High School Musical might do her good, but personally, I prefer her to act in a horror film;

Faizal AF4 is well suited for comedy. A role in the next Senario The Movie film or even a comedy directed by Associate Professor Abdul Razak Mohaideen would do his movie career good;

Rocker and 'bad boy' Faizal Tahir is a film-star in waiting. Give him the right role in the right movie and he might be able to emulate Awie's success.

In my opinion, Faizal is the best candidate for the remake of Azura. In the role made famous by Jamal Abdillah, Faizal will definitely turn the new version into a box office hit.







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