“Chi Chi Em Em 2” (Sister Sister 2) pulled in VND101 billion ($4.2 million) so far this year, making it the second highest-grossing film in Vietnam, despite criticism.
Cinema chain and distributor CGV said on Thursday that the movie grossed VND101 billion in the first 16 days of its release.
This is the second Vietnamese movie that crossed the VND100 billion mark in 2023, after comedian Tran Thanh’s “Nha Ba Nu” (Nu’s family), which has raked in over VND400 billion.
Will Vu, a representative of the production company, said they expect the movie to continue earning on Valentine’s Day. The company is also planning an international release of the film, in the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea. Three months after its release, the film will be available for online streaming.
During the Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays which fell from January 20-26, “Chi Chi Em Em 2” and “Nha Ba Nu” dominated the domestic box office, accounting for 88% of all revenue.
“Chi Chi Em Em 2” is the sequel to the 2019 movie that also achieved domestic success. It tells the story of the battle for power between Ba Tra (Minh Hang) and Tu Nhi (Ngoc Trinh), two famous beauties who lived in Saigon in the early 20th century.
Critics said the movie has many limitations in its script and characters, and that the message of the movie is said to be ambiguous and inconsistent.
In the film, the character Tu Nhi wants to escape her life as a prostitute, but in order to enter the elite, she is willing to use her body as a tool to achieve her purpose.
The movie has also been criticized for its excessive use of sexy scenes, which some deemed unnecessary. The costumes in the movie is another drawback. Designer Nguyen Minh Cong said the outfits of the two main characters were not suitable for the early 20th century.
He said that during this era, the elites in Saigon were inspired by fashion from the West, especially France, so it’s unlikely that such long gowns and dresses used in the movie existed at that time.
Despite criticism, the movie was selected to compete at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in March.
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