Art And Culture

Iranian Cinema Turns the Tide

Iranian Cinema Turns the Tide
Iranian Cinema Turns the Tide
Iranian Cinema Turns the Tide

Remaining at the top of this year's box-office list for ten consecutive days since its screening and breaking all records in Iran cinema is 'City of Mice 2', the fastest to zoom into the 'billion club films'!

Only nine days since its release and the children's movie grossed over one billion tomans ($ 300,000), a new record for the billion club films in Iran, ISNA reported.

Less than a hundred movies are screened annually in theatres all around Iran. In the past decade a few movies have been lucky to attract mass audiences to cinema halls, grossing over $ 300,000. Up to now, 30 movies have entered the club with screening duration from ten days to two months.

Directed by Marzieh Borumand, 'City of Mice 2' is the first movie to earn more than $ 300,000 in just nine days. The previous 10-day record belonged to 'The Expelled' (Ekhrajiha 2), a 2009 war-comedy, which was warmly welcomed by the audiences at that time.

New Record

The puppet film also set two new records: the first one last Tuesday, on the half-price day when cinema tickets are sold at half rate to attract more film-goers from low-income groups. While 'The Expelled' directed by Maoud Deh-Namaki, was the previous record holder with sales of $ 20,000 at half price shows, 'City of Mice 2' doubled the amount, raking $ 40,000.

Moreover, with ticket sales of $ 70,000 on Friday alone in Tehran, the film surpassed the $ 52,000 one-day sale record which it had achieved the week before.

However, it should be pointed out that the figures given above are only for cinemas in the Capital. According to film producer Ali Sartipi, having been screened in 30 cinemas in Tehran, the sequel to the favorite children's film has grossed $ 400,000 in 10 days. Taking into account another $ 210,000 earned through screening in 50 more cinemas in other cities, the movie grossed $ 610,000 in ten days, a record in a long time.

Simultaneous with 'City of Mice 2', five other movies also joined the billion club films. The six movies together achieved an unprecedented box-office record of $ 3 million in less than two months.

Billion Club

'Red Carpet', directed by Reza Attaran, is a comedy shot in Cannes during the Cannes International Film Festival. It is this year's second best seller, grossing over $ 1 million in 60 days. 

 'AK-47', directed by Saeed Soheili and starring Attaran, who is also a popular comedian, is a drama-comedy screened in 40 cinemas around the country, earning a $ 550,000 box-office.

Movies including, 'Azar Shahdokht, Parvis and Others' by Behrouz Afkhami, 'Today' by Reza Mir-Karimi, and 'Angels Come Together' by Hamed Mohamadi have all entered the billion club films.

Going back a little, the first five movies screened at the beginning of the Iranian year (started March 21) sold well at the box-office. It was the real spring for Iran cinema as they took home $ three million in two months.

The movies included: 'Merajiha' a war-comedy directed by Masoud Deh-Namaki, 'Special Line' a drama-comedy by Mostafa Kiyaei, 'Five Stars' a drama by Mahshid Afsharzadeh, and 'CH' a film by Ibrahim Hatamikia, about two critical days in the life of Mostafa  Chamran, who was martyred during the eight year Iraq-Iran war.

Best Sellers

Standing atop this year's best sellers is 'The Critical Floor', a comedy directed by Kamal Tabrizi, starring Attaran who has ruled Persian filmdom both as actor and director. The movie grossed over $ 1,200,000 just in Tehran, and is in safe position so far. But the cute mice puppets are scurrying fast to the top.

A new wave of promising movies is also making way to cinema halls. 'Heavy Make-up' by Hamid Nematollah, 'Cease Fire 2' by Tahmine Milani, 'Track 143' by Narges Abyar, and 'Resurrection' by Ahmad-Reza Darvish all have the potential to be among the top ten of the year.

At the moment, 'The Expelled 2' with $ 2,500,000 at the box office is still the best seller. One should wait and see if the little mice, who overcame 'You-Know-Who', can beat their rival film. Considering the impressive start, such expectation is not far-fetched.