April 24, 2006


Malaysia is a nice country with lots of wonderful ports, it's the world's biggest exporter of natural palm oil and those Patronas Twin Towers are pretty darn tall. But don't try to release a movie about Chinese boys dating Malaysian girls. Yasmin Ahmad is the director of SEPET, an incredibly popular love story from 2004 about just this kind of interracial hook-up. Despite censorship (one shot of the two leads sitting on a motorcycle together was ordered cut), the movie was widely praised and did well at the box office. Yasmin just released GUBRA, a sort-of sequel which picks up with the two main characters later in life.

But don't try to buy a ticket. Despite being awarded 4 out of 5 stars in the Singapore Straits Times, someone is trying to keep Malaysians from watching GUBRA. If you call for a ticket, or try to order one online, you'll be told that the film is sold out. Cool! Except if you happen to arrive at the cinema you'll find that the theater is half full, or less than half full. Apparently someone is block-booking huge chunks of tickets and then never showing up to claim them. The tickets aren't released until a half hour before the show, and only at the box office, so the tickets are, to all intents and purposes, taken off the market.

Some people are speculating that this is simply some kind of mix-up with the reservation system, but reports are pouring in of people being told a theater is sold-out, or has only 1 seat left, then they enter the hall and find that over half the seats are empty.

Yasmin is reporting that GUBRA has died at the box office, but that people can still make their voices heard by letting the press know if they had this experience at a theater showing GUBRA.

April 24, 2006 at 02:48 AM in News | Permalink


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