Vietnamese viewers prefer foreign to local on Netflix

More Vietnamese are watching South Korean and American films than Vietnamese films on the digital movie platform Netflix.

Vietnamese viewers prefer foreign to local on Netflix
Vietnamese movies on Netflix are not receiving a lot of attention from local viewers. Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn

Since its announcement of a Vietnamese interface last October, Netflix has been increasing the number of Vietnamese films on the platform, according to a report in Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper.

However, the 10 most-watched movies among Vietnamese users on Netflix are still a mixture of South Korean and American films, including Itaewon Class, Crash Landing on You, Hi Bye, Mama, I Am not Okay with This, and others.

On the first day of Netflix's launch of its rating feature, K-dramas dominated the list of Vietnamese viewers’ favourite films, with seven Korean films on the top 10 list.

A Thai movie called Girl from Nowhere was also on the list. Though introduced in 2018, the movie has been at the top of searches since then.

Local filmmakers are concerned that Vietnamese movies have not attracted the full attention of Vietnamese, even though Netflix has offered a significant number of Vietnamese movies to encourage views from people who did not see them when they were first released.

Some popular Vietnamese titles available on Netflix include Trạng Quỳnh, Siêu sao siêu ngố, Mẹ chồng, Sài Gòn – Anh yêu em, Sắc đẹp ngàn cân, Ngôi nhà bươm bướm, Hạnh phúc của mẹ, Hai Phượng, Trúng số, Chung cư ma, Để Mai tính, Yêu, and Hậu duệ mặt trời, among others.

New releases have also been added to the list, such as Anh thầy ngôi sao, Trời sáng rồi nói lời tạm biệt, Chờ em đến ngày mai, and Chơi vơi.

Most of these titles have been shown in theatres, and were not big hits, experts have said. This has negatively affected viewer’s interest in watching local movies on Netflix.

In addition, because Netflix is not a popular movie platform in areas in the country where there are no cinemas, it is difficult for local movies to be widely recognised on Netflix.

“I think local movies posted on Netflix are not as interesting as the ones from South Korea or China because the quality of our films is not good enough,” director Vo Thanh Hoa said.

Audiences these days do not want or need simple movie plots, he said, adding that filmmakers should step up their game and come up with quality content.

Market audience

 

To successfully gain audience’s interest on online movie platforms, Vietnamese movies should be backed by investors who are strong enough to lead the market, experts have said.

Though distributing movies via digital platforms has been trending and is a barrier-free market that can bring a major source of revenue for film producers, Vietnam has not been able to take advantage of this market.

“During the COVID-19 outbreak, frequent moviegoers have had a tendency to stay at home and watch movies online. As they have a growing demand for quality entertainment, filmmakers should produce better films, or else locals will opt for other entertainment platforms,” Hoa said.

Many film experts agree that quality scripts are the most important factor contributing to the success of films.

Director Bao Nhan noted that a poor script posed a worse threat than technical problems or a lack of human resources.

This has explained why local audiences have not paid sufficient attention to Vietnamese movies on Netflix.

Currently, the film Phượng Khấu, the latest film of director Huynh Tuan Anh, is being broadcast exclusively on Pops every Thursday night at 8pm.

This is the first Vietnamese film series with a focus on palace and harem dramas, and it has gained significant public attention since it was introduced via the press.

If the series receives positive feedback from the audience, Phượng Khấu’s copyright will likely be purchased by Netflix, similar to what the Story of Yanxi Palace has done.

Local experts have said that Phượng Khấu is expected to be successful in both the domestic and international movie markets. VNS

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