PETALING JAYA, Dec 30 — A lot can happen in 10 years and in the realm of Malaysian cinema, homegrown films have been enjoying something of a renaissance in the past decade.
Box-office figures for the top 10 Malaysian films of all time indicate all of the productions were made in the later half of the decade from 2015 to 2019, according to figures listed on the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) website.
There is one exception: Chiu Keng Guan’s culture clash romantic comedy The Journey which was released as part of Astro Shaw’s Chinese New Year offering in 2014.
The top three films of all time in Malaysia is led by Islamic horror flick Munafik 2, followed by comedy horror Hantu Kak Limah and the military action film Paskal, all from 2018.
Last year proved to be a successful year for the film industry with many high-grossing films that made it to the top 10.
In fact, four out of the 10 films were launched last year.
Beyond box office collection, it was also the decade that brought a more mature cinema audience with boundary-pushing works that elevated the standard of Malaysian cinema.
Namron’s One Two Jaga (2018) shed light on the difficult topic of illegal migrants and corrupt cops and although it didn’t rake in the Ringgits at the box office, the film was praised by moviegoers and took home six awards including Best Film at the 30th Malaysia Film Festival (FFM30).
Zahir Omar’s feature directorial debut Fly by Night released this year not only gave audiences an edgy and gritty crime action-drama that won acclaim at international film festivals but dismantled the industry’s race and language centric confines as demonstrated by its non-Chinese speaking filmmaker directing a predominantly Mandarin-language film.
Special mention also goes out to producers of Malaysian animation who have stepped up their game, with all three major offerings breaking records.
While Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal is officially in the list at No. 4 of highest grossing Malaysian productions, two others released this year, have surpassed the numbers of the region’s favourite cartoon duo in Boboiboy The Movie 2 raking in RM30 million and the Ejen Ali The Movie hitting RM28.5 million in just 30 days.
As Malaysians usher in 2020, here’s a look at the country’s 10 films which occupy the top 10 highest-grossing Malaysian movies list based on verified figures from Finas to date.
1. Munafik 2 (2018)
Director Syamsul Yusof’s sequel to Munafik reigns supreme, making RM37.74 million at the box office.
2. Hantu Kak Limah (2018)
The final film in Mamat Khalid’s Hantu Kak Limah film series was a commercial success that collected RM36.23 million.
3. Paskal the Movie (2018)
Directed by Adrian Teh, the military action film looks at the elite Royal Malaysian Navy and its rescue mission to recover a tanker hijacked by Somalian pirates.
The film raked in RM28.98 million and is the most expensive Malaysian film ever made with a budget of RM10 million.
4. Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal (2019)
Made by Malaysia’s premier animation studio Les’ Copaque, Adam Amiruddin, Ahmad Razuri Roseli and Syed Nurfaiz’s film took home RM26.20 million and was also submitted for an Academy Award consideration in the Animated Feature Film category.
5. Abang Long Fadil 2 (2017)
Directed by Syafiq Yusof and produced by Skop Productions, the action-comedy which stars Zizan Razak, Syamsul Yusof and AC Mizal made RM18.15 million at the box office.
6. Polis Evo (2015)
The Ghaz Abu Bakar-directed action film recorded RM17.74 million at the box office despite being shown at only 44 cinemas nationwide.
7. The Journey (2014)
The only Chinese-language film in the list won over audiences with its story of a Malaysian Chinese father’s relationship with his English future son-in-law and made RM17.17 million.
8. Munafik (2016)
Syamsul Yusof’s supernatural horror film about a Muslim medical practitioner whose faith gets tested earned RM17.04 million in box office takings.
9. Ola Bola (2016)
The second Chiu Keng Guan film in the list, based on the national football team that qualified for the 1980 Summer Olympics, made RM16.67 million and has since been turned into a successful musical.
10. Polis Evo 2 (2018)
The sequel to Polis Evo directed by Joel Soh and Andre Chiew starring Zizan Razak and Shaheizy Sam earned RM15.91 million at the box office.