Thailand's biggest film of the year, Tom Yum Goong,has struck a trio of deals at the Bangkok Film Market (BFM), part of theBangkok International Film Festival (13-23 Jan).
The$8m action flick was pre-sold to Korean major Showbox, Hong Kong's Edko and India'sIndo by Hong Kong-based sales agent Golden Network.
Thecompany has previously sold the picture, launched at Berlin last year, to aconsortium of Gaga, Klockworx and Media Suits for Japan, Sunny Films forMalaysia, Contender Film Group for the UK and Gulf Films for the Middle Eastand Turkey's Medy Vizon. Golden Network chief Carrie Wong said that pre-salesnow totalled "just short of $3m."
French studio EuropaCorp is still in protracted negotiationsto handle most of the rest of the world outside Asia, including the US, as itdid on director Prachya Pinkaew and star Tony Jaa's breakout previous film Ong-Bak.
Tom Yum Goong takes its name from a Thai spicysoup, but is not a foodie drama. Rather it includes elements such as elephants,Thai boxing and music in an action drama which pits Jaa against the Mafia andsees him travel between Bangkok and Australia.
The film had been expected to be delivered this spring, butPinkaew said that it will now be completed in August. "We still have a fewscenes to shoot including one where Tony is up against Troy star NathanJones. He is much, much bigger than Tony, but Tony still manages to makemincemeat of him."
Jaa,who is under an exclusive ten-year contract with producer Sahamongkol Film, isfamous for doing all his own stunts and fight scenes without wires and withoutstand-ins. "I feel with this film a responsibility to show a new side to Thaiboxing, one that will even be new for Thai audiences," said Jaa. That includesa four-minute single shot which took four days and seven takes to get right.
*US producer and sales agentTroma Entertainment struck an early BKM deal when it sold ten-pictures toThailand's Jumbo Films. The package was headed by documentary All The LoveYou Cannes and Samuel L Jackson-starring 1990 title Def By Temptation,on which Jumbo bought all local rights. On the other eight it homeentertainment rights only.