Thai action title Ong-Bak - Muay Thai Warrior has become the highest-grossing Thai movie ever in Singapore, the first territory in which it's been released outside its home market.
As of November 30, the film had grossed S$518,000 (US$300,500) at the Singapore box office placing it ahead of other Thai titles such as Iron Ladies (US$300,000), Iron Ladies II (US$274,400), Nang Nak (US$264,000) and Jan Dara (US$168,200).The film was released by Singapore's Shaw Renters.
The strong results augur well for the film's international roll-out. Luc Besson's Europa Corp recently picked up a slew of Western territories to the film and plans to release it in France next April. It opens in Malaysia this weekend and a tentative release is also set for Hong Kong and China next February. Gaga plans to open the film in Japan during summer 2004.
Directed by Prachya Pinkaew for Thai studio Sahamongkol, Ong-Bak opened in Thailand in February and is currently the highest grossing local film of the year. Its young star, Tony Jaa, is being tipped as the next international martial arts hero.
A follow-up film, Tom Yum Goong, is in the works and scheduled to start shooting next February.