Singapore's satiricalcomedy The Best Bet scored$66,000 (S$113,530) on 38 prints on its June 9 opening, making it the biggestever opening day gross for a local film. It also raked in $99,000 from itssneak preview over the weekend.

The $584,000 The Best Bet, made by homegrown TV comedian-turned-director JackNeo and starring a local cast, was competing against big budget Hollywoodsummer movies such as Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Day After Tomorrow and Shrek 2.

Producer Daniel Yun of MediaCorpRaintree Pictures said, 'Singaporeans find a close connection with TheBest Bet, which serves as analternative to the Hollywood blockbusters. The film is a vintage Jack Neo, asit marks his return to social satire like Money No Enough.' 1998's Money No Enough remains the highest grossing local film with a takeof $3.4m.

The Best Bet tells how the friendship of three good friends turnssour when one of them hits the jackpot and decides to keep the money. Such asubject matter, together with the extensive use of Hokkien (a local dialect asopposed to the official Chinese language of Mandarin), raised the eyebrows ofSingapore's censorship board.

But Raintree clarified thatthe film is not promoting excessive gambling while the use of Hokkien is only toreflect the real slice of everyday life. The Best Bet is now rated PG although it comes with a'gambling theme' label as an alert to the viewers.

In mid-July itwill open in Malaysia, where last year Neo's Homerun was banned reportedly due to politicalsensitivities.