If you are wondering how the entertainment industry including the ones in the filmmaking production, distribution, and marketing was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic then we at Asiaone Singapore got answers for you.
We will take for example the three biggest film studios in Singapore: Golden Village, mm2 Asia, and Clover Films. They admitted that despite the detrimental effect of the pandemic in certain industries, the three companies are remaining resilient amidst this pandemonium.
The statement is true even though there have been numerous negative reports about mm2 Asia, a conglomerate based in Singapore with subsidiaries like the Cathay Cineplex chain and branches in film production and distribution.
According to a report in The Business Times, a chartered accountant not affiliated with the company has indicated a doubt and concern about the group’s capability to cope in this pandemic era. It was a non-affiliated audit assessment on the financial records of the company for the year ended in March 2021.
MM2 Asia Response
The entertainment industry magazine Variety also published a story about the auditor’s report with a title: mm2 Asia Financial Status Questioned by Auditor on July 14. A response on the issue was answered by a representative from mm2 who said that the report created a negative exaggeration of the situation where in fact the company is really doing well.
“Many businesses have been affected by Covid-19, mm2 included. Despite the setback, mm2 is well on the way to recovery,” said the spokesperson for mm2.
The spokesperson also said that the optimistic share price performance of the company despite a recent rights issue demonstrated investor confidence. Additionally, she said that the company has not forsaken its financial obligations.
The representative also noted clarifications about the technical terms utilized in the auditor’s report and financial statements that are important in the right understanding of the statement. She also added that there is no justification for the negative tone of the headline of the Variety story.
There are a few recently announced upcoming projects by mm2 Asia including the films that will be helmed by three Singaporean directors: Sean Ng, Daniel Yam, and Boi Kwong which are greenlit and will soon begin pre-production.
There was a proposal for a merger of the Cathay and Golden Village cinema operations which are currently in the process of completing regulatory approvals. There are also no plans in reducing the number of Cathay outlets.
The spokesman for mm2 Asia also added, “We are seeing a recovery in attendance numbers.”
Sinaporean Box Office Status
According to the Singaporean Film Commission, the box office total in Singapore in 2020 is $49.6 million, a drop of 71 percent from the $175.4 million in 2019.
According to the Golden Village representative, the company has “continued to support the marketing and distribution of local films”. In fact, during the pandemic era, the release slate has included the comedy The Diam Diam Era in 2020 and its sequel, The Diam Diam Era 2 in 2021, as well as the satire Tiong Bahru Social Club in 2020 and the biographical film Andre And His Olive Tree in 2021.
Restrictive Working Conditions
Mr. Lim Teck, the managing director of Clover Films, on the other hand, revealed that the Singaporean entertainment industry has been severely affected by the pandemic due to the reduced attendance capacity limits and closures of cinema.
Among the films distributed by Clover Films is the South Korean zombie-drama film Peninsula which is the sequel to Train To Busan which reportedly earned $2.9 million despite its run in the highly restrictive months of the pandemic.
The filmmaking and film production process will continue in Singapore despite the restrictions in the production due to the heightened alert for Covid-19 virus new variants. “Filming under those conditions can be stressful, but it can be done,” Mr. Lim said.
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