Looking back at 2020, the film industry has certainly taken a new route. While cinemas remained in the dark, streaming services bloomed. How did the pandemic affect the film industry and production services in Thailand? And what were the box-office hits when movie theaters reopened? Keep reading to find out.
How Production Services in Thailand Survived The Pandemic
The unexpected pandemic took a large toll on the film industry. And while Hollywood had the means to recover faster, many other countries had to put filming on hold.
For example, in 2019, Thailand produced 54 films, while in 2020, only 9 made it to release. And with movie theaters mostly closed throughout the year, revenues dropped considerably. Production services in Thailand suffered a great loss with this lack of activity. High hopes were mostly connected with some international productions. As cinemas reopened, it was essential to revive the public’s enthusiasm. While eyes were all on Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Wonder Woman actually turned out to be a tentpole. This DC superhero film grossed around 64 million baht.
However, the Thai market had some surprises from home-produced films too. The eccentric comedy E-Riam Sing (The Crazy Riam, literally) managed to score up to 150 million baht. The Con-Heartist (Ai Khon Lor Luang) is also a title drawing up to 100 million baht, at a national level.
Some international movies also set their camera to shoot in Thailand during the pandemic. Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (2020), an American war drama, is one of them. There was also Tremors: Shrieker Island released straight in a home-video format.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the film industry faced some bumps. But it still has to deliver content. This need translates as the survival of production services in Thailand and worldwide. All across the globe, while movie theaters may freeze, film production has to continue.
Streaming Hit Vs Cinema Success
As cinema releases were no longer an option, filmmakers had to adapt. Streaming reached a booming level in 2020,even outside of the quarantine. Due to restrictions, movie theaters could no longer receive the public. And this situation expanded even in the case of film festivals. Of all the prestigious events, only the Berlin and Venice Film Festival made it happen. Cannes, the most influential one, got canceled. And it dragged into limbo many films expected to launch here. Other festivals opted for a hybrid presentation, online and on-site.
Yet some Thai productions did reach success on streaming platforms last year. The top-grossing Thai movie of2020 was Low Season. Gaining around$1.2 million in Bangkok, it was also added to the Netflix streaming list in no time. With more time indoors, binge-watching became a new hobby for many. And so, Thai dramas like Hormones, 2gether, or Tharn Type became global hits.
The pandemic has changed the way we watch movies. It is uncertain yet if cinemas stand a chance in front of the ubiquitous streaming services. Yet for sure, good productions see daylight even in the darkest days. And production services in Thailand and worldwide still have a future.