The number one box office hit of all time in Vietnam, Bố Già (Dad, I’m Sorry), just scored another historic achievement after crossing the $1M mark in the US, becoming the first Vietnamese-produced title to reach that milestone.
Taking Vietnam by storm, Trấn Thành’s brainchild grossed over $17M after its release on March 12. The film’s budget was only $1M.
Within two months, the family comedy-drama took the same storm in the US market. Released in May 2021 by 3388 Films, the film dominated the US specialty box office for two weekends grossing over $820,000. The film played at 19 theaters in its first week, then to 38 in the second week, and eventually expanded to 45 a week ago.
Just yesterday, the movie added $116K in its third frame, bringing its domestic gross to $1.08M, which definitely breaks a ceiling for Vietnam cinema in the US.
“We did it!,” 3388 Films’ Thien A Pham exclaimed in his email to Vietcetera, adding “This amazing feat is a reflection of the strong support from the Vietnamese community. We’re really unlocking the untapped potential of the domestic market for a Vietnamese film right now, and these numbers are absolutely encouraging for Vietnamese films and for all independent and international films. We’re very motivated to continue to create new markets in the domestic US territory for international films to reach a wider audience.”
Director and producer Trấn Thành expressed his overwhelming joy saying, “My biggest hope is that not only will older folks go see this film, but also Gen Z… I’ve seen a lot of audience members, after watching the film, tear up with more love for their parents, and in turn, parents gaining more compassion and empathy for their children and where they’re coming from. That’s why I want to bring this film to the US.”
The story originated as a five-episode web drama that drew some 90 million viewers. Trấn Thành wrote the piece, co-directed with Vu Ngoc Dang, produced by Trấn Thành Town, Galaxy Studio, and HK Film. The movie revolves around the dysfunctional family of a chronic meddler Ba Sang (Trấn Thành), with his bully and argumentative siblings, and the local mobsters who stop by to begin cutting off his fingers if he doesn’t start repaying his debt.
“All of this discord is back-grounded by the most miserably manipulative laugh-track-style musical score you can imagine; every joke is punctuated by a silly, emphatic musical outburst,” reads the Deadline review.
Bố Già (Dad, I’m Sorry) is playing in 47 theaters across the US from coast to coast — Hawaii to Los Angeles to New York — by far the widest opening for a Vietnamese Film in the US. A timely movie to watch this Father's Day weekend.