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Vietnam Hit ‘Mai’ Sets New Box Office Record In North America, Europe

UPDATE, EXCLUSIVE: Hit Vietnamese romance drama Mai has notched yet another new milestone, reaching $2M in North America and Europe box office in just two weeks. That makes it the highest grossing Vietnam-produced film of all time on the two continents. Heading into its third weekend of international release, Mai now has a global box office of $23M.

The Tran Thanh-directed film was a smash in Vietnam with $21M. In North America, it has grossed $1.66M and in Europe $341K.

Prior to Mai, Tran Thanh’s first film, Bố Già (Dad, I’m Sorry), also distributed by 3388 Films, was the North American record holder for a Vietnam-produced film with $1.3M after an eight-week run in 2021. Mai has quickly overtaken it.

Thien A. Pham of 3388 Films tells Deadline, “$2M for Mai at the international box office is an absolute game-changer and we are thrilled. Three years ago, $1M at the U.S. box office was unheard of and until 2024, $2M in North America and Europe was almost unimaginable. Our mission has always been to expand markets and attract new audiences to international and independent titles. Mai’s international box office success shows 3388 Films was able to certainly reach both the diaspora and general audience. This fuels our energy to continue to support Southeast Asian films tap into their growth potential and break long-standing market ceilings.”

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, March 26: After smashing records in Vietnam, Tran Thanh’s hit romance drama Mai has now set a new milestone for an opening weekend at the international box office, becoming the first Vietnamese title to score a $1M debut outside the home market.

Beginning March 22, specialty distributor 3388 Films released the Phuong Anh Dao/Tuan Tran-starrer in nearly 200 theaters in nine countries throughout North America and Europe – marking the widest same-day theatrical release ever for a Vietnam film across the two continents. 

From 154 theaters in North America, Mai grossed $917K, and added another $133K from 40 sites in the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. This takes the global gross to over $22M. In Vietnam, it is the highest grossing film of all time.

This is the third film from Tran Thanh whose Dad, I’m Sorry was also released by 3388, finaling at $1.3M in the U.S. in 2021 to become the top Vietnamese produced movie ever there. It’s expected that Mai will unseat that film in short order. At launch, it has already surpassed the previous two opening record holders combined (Dad, I’m Sorry bowed to $320.5K in 2021, and The House of No Man opened with $440.7K in 2023.)

Thien A. Pham, founder of 3388 Films, tells Deadline, “3388 Films is laser-focused on building and laying foundational tracks in new markets to help international films move at faster speeds towards their intended audiences, and enabling these films to punch above their weight. What this $1M opening for Mai represents is not just box office success outside its local box office. Bigger than that, what this historic achievement represents is hope and optimism that there are distribution opportunities, uncovered theatrical market potential, for international films. We believe the foundational tracks 3388 Films is laying will benefit not just Vietnam films, but also films from other Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia.”

Mai delves into the psychology of its eponymous protagonist played by Phuong Anh Dao. Restlessly haunted by the past, she is greeted by a new dawn when she reluctantly befriends the neighborhood ladies’ man. But when her yesterday catches up to her today, what will become of her tomorrow?

Also starring are Tran Thanh, Beef‘s Hong Dao, Uyen An, Ngoc Giau, Viet Anh and Quoc Khanh.

The film is produced by Nguyen Huu Tuong Vi (CJ HK Entertainment) and Thao Nguyen.

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