Mat Kilau Surpasses Major Hollywood Movies to Rake Nationwide Success

By Michelle Liew

Entering its 15th day of screening, the box office film, Mat Kilau Kebangkitan Pahlawan directed by Syamsul Yusof, has topped the list of best-selling local films ever released in national film history, since the first copy of Laila Majnun was produced in 1933.

The number of movie ticket sales produced by Studio Kembara Sdn Bhd continued to soar with the latest amount reported to be more than RM51.8 million after 13 days of screening.

In fact, Mat Kilau’s success managed to surpass Hollywood films Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World (Dominion) in stage-breaking charts, proving the strength of local films in attracting audiences to cinemas.

Ticket sales continue to soar, as people await to see the story of the famous warrior, the late Mat Kilau Iman Rasu. The movie is also being widely discussed on various platforms including TikTok.

Syamsul gives a magical touch in his first epic film, Mat Kilau Kebangkitan Pahlawan which premiered in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam on 23 June.

The film grossed RM1 million on the first day of screening, thus changing the climate of the local film scene. This is the first epic film to reach great success in such a short time.

The phenomenon triggered by this film saw spectators flocking to the cinema during this endemic transition phase, and many even wore traditional warrior costumes, in support of the film.

Commenting on the phenomenon triggered by the film Mat Kilau Kebangkitan Pahlawan, Yusof Haslam, Malaysian actor, film director and producer, who is also the father of Syamsul Yusof said, his son has succeeded in proving that epic and iconic films are able to beat other genres that have been the audience’ choice, all this while.

Mat Kilau has made history, becoming the first best-selling Malay epic film of all times beating Munafik 2. Recognition or credit should be given to Syamsul and Studio Kembara as publishers. It is written that this is their livelihood. I am proud of the great collection that has never been seen in the history of the local film industry. The success of Mat Kilau’s film became a shift in the film and cinema industry while it was in a phase of transition to endemic. In fact, looking at the audience’s craze for this film, it is not impossible for more than double the collection to be achieved,” Yusof told BH Online.

Excited to see what is being said about the resurgence of Malay films, Yusof hoped the government would study movie producers’ complaints regarding the 25 per cent entertainment duty imposed on filmmakers.

He said the entertainment duty in Malaysia was among the highest in Asia and around the world, and hopes the government will reduce the entertainment duty to seven percent.

Today the entertainment duty is imposed at 25 per cent. Admittedly, it is very burdensome for publishers. So, I hope the figure is reduced to seven per cent as practiced by neighboring countries,” he said.

Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan is published by Studio Kembara with a reported cost of RM8 million. Filmed over 100 days in Perak, Pahang, Melaka and Selangor. The film features a line -up of great actors such as Datuk Adi Putra, Beto Kusyairy, Fattah Amin, Johan As’ari and Yayan Ruhan.