Men in green help Jack Neo break record

SINGAPORE - Jack Neo has made history again.

His latest movie, Ah Boys To Men Part1, has clocked the biggest opening-day box-office result for a local film outside of the Chinese New Year festive season.

The army comedy earned $234,000 on 37 screens on its first day when it opened here on Thursday. Tickets to more than five screens were also sold out.

His last movie, We Not Naughty, which was shown here in January, managed $41,000 on its opening day on 32 screens.

Neo, 52, told us in a recent interview that he is elated and very thankful for the public support.

Ah Boys To Men, about the adventures of a group of recruits going through Basic Military Training, stars rookies like Joshua Tan, Wang Weiliang, Tosh Zhang and Noah Yap and veterans like Irene Ang, Wang Lei and Liu Qianyi.

Part 2 will be released here on Feb 7.

Neo hopes to replicate his success in Malaysia and Taiwan.

Malaysia will screen Part 1 from Dec 20 and the opening date for Taiwan hasn't been confirmed. Discussions are going on with Hong Kong distributors.

Neo thinks the international audience will appreciate the film even though the context is local.

He said: "Some of my Malaysian friends watched the movie and they felt that audiences across the Causeway will watch it for the entertainment value.

"They should be able to identify with the jokes and how the recruits were bullied by their instructors. "

As Taiwanese men also go through compulsory national service, Neo feels they will be curious about army training here.

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