Jack Neo’s The Diam Diam Era Part Two spoke volumes at the Singapore home box-office in 2021 — it’s the No.1 Asian movie, even Donnie Yen and Andy Lau are no match against him.
The Mark Lee-starring, 1980s-set political satire raked in S$1.71 mil, making the year’s top Asian earner. It edged out Detective Chinatown 3 (S$979,000), the latest chapter in the popular buddy comedy series from China, and the Hongkong thriller Raging Fire, the Donnie Yen-Nicholas Tse-headlined thriller Raging Fire (S$890,000).
Elsewhere, Thailand’s The Medium is the highest-grossing M18 Asian title with S$788,000. It’s also the only horror in the Top 10. Romance did well, too: My Love, a remake of a Korean hit from mainland China, and the Golden Horse Award-winning Till We Meet Again cozied up with S$712,000 and S$577,000, respectively.
But the combined earnings of the Top 10 Asian movies don’t even come close to 2021’s box-office champ— Spider-Man: No Way Home. As of Dec 31, the Tom Holland-starring superhero adventure pulled in a remarkable S$11.8 mil, in just two weeks after its Dec 16 release. The Hollywood roster is dominated by sequels, comic book adaptations and remakes; Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon is the only original IP — and only animated feature — to breach the Top 10.
Globally, Spider-Man: No Way Home (U$1.39 bil) was in No. 1 as well, followed by The Battle at Lake Changlin (US$902.5 mil ), Hi, Mom (US$822 mil), No Time to Die (US$774 mil), Fast & Furious 9 (US$726.2 mil), Detective Chinatown 3 (US$686 mil), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (US$501.1 mil), Godzilla vs Kong (US$467.8 mil), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (US$432.2 mil), and Eternals (US$401.6 mil).
All in all, as pandemic-era figures go, local exhibitors and distributors 8days.sg spoke to are satisfied with last year’s performance. One word we frequently hear from them is “Encouraging.” It sure beats the abysmal year that was 2020 when cinemas (essentially everywhere) were upended by closures, limited seating capacity, concessions ban and delays in releases; with box-office revenue totalling S$49.64 mil, a 71.1 per cent drop from 2019’s S$175.4 mil.
“Hopefully, folks will continue to catch the flood of incoming Hollywood titles in the best experience possible — in the cinemas,” one insider tells us. And theatre operators are hoping to keep the momentum going with upcoming blockbusters, including The Batman, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Top Gun: Maverick; Mission: Impossible 7, Jurassic World: Dominion, and Avatar 2. On the home-front, we have the reature feature Circle Line, the CNY-themed rom-com Reunion Dinner, and er, Jack Neo’s Ah Girls Go Army to look forward to.
Let’s just hope the Omicron variant doesn’t muck things up.
Top 10 Hollywood Movies in Singapore
1/ Spider-Man: No Way Home - S$11.8 mil *
2/ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – S$7.11 mil
3/ Godzilla vs Kong - S$5.43 mil
4/ Eternals – S$4.3 mil
5/ No Time to Die - S$3,7 mil
6/ Fast & Furious 9 - S$3. 6 mil
7/ Venom: Let There Be Carnage - S$3.8 mil
8/ Black Widow – S$2.87 mil
9/ Dune - S$1.88 mil
10 Raya and The Last Dragon - S$1.76 mil
*still in cinemas
Top 10 Asian Movies in Singapore
1/The Diam Diam Era Part Two – S$1.71 mil
2/ Detective Chinatown 3 – S$979,000
3/ Raging Fire – S$890,000
4/ Hi Mom – S$859,000
5/ The Medium – S$788,000
6/ Endgame – S$719,000
7/My Love – S$712,000
8/ Till We Meet Again – S$577,000
9/ A Writer’s Odyssey – S$444,000
10/ Sinkhole – S$428,000
Sources: Cinematograph Film Exhibitors Association (data as of Dec 31, 2021); boxofficemojo.com; Disney, 20th Century Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Shaw Organisation, Golden Village, Warner Bros Pictures, Cathay, UIP,