BANGKOK — Thailand’s first digital film, “Paksa Wayu” (The Garuda), hit cinemas April 2, earning $380,000 during the weekend. RS Film distribution topper Prawatsart Kunchorn Na Ayutthaya was happy with weekend earnings, projecting the sci-fi disaster pic could earn $2.5 million domestically.
Directed by Monthon Arayangkoon, pic was shot entirely with a hi-def camera, the same kind as used for shooting “Star Wars: Episode II” — but on a budget of $1 million.
Ayutthaya admits the cost seems high for a digital project, but says this is because as the country’s first digital pic, RS Film invested more in the development of the format, as well as flying a crew to Japan for production consultation.
Set in Bangkok’s new subway, pic shows a sleeping prehistoric garuda — a bird-monster — being awakened from the construction. Bangkok is in danger when the garuda, clearly influenced by Godzilla associate Rodan, starts stalking and killing people.
Teen idol Sornram Dheppitak plays a lieutenant in a special military task force fighting the monster.
Film was presold to distributors in Indonesia, Japan and China, and RS Film plans to take it to Cannes as well.