Comedy action film "Polis Evo 3" collected RM1.3 million from its sneak preview yesterday, overtaking political biography "Anwar: The Untold Story" and several other international movies.
This propelled the movie, produced by Astro Shaw with Skop Productions and TGV Pictures, to first place on the GSC Malaysia Top 10 chart for the highest gross on Wednesday.
Directed by Syafiq Yusof, "Polis Evo 3" begins its official screening at cinemas nationwide today.
On Twitter, many users and local film reviewers predicted that the film would become Malaysia's "box office" hit for the year.
This comes amid criticism by some of free government screenings of "Anwar: The Untold Story" for civil servants and school students, and accusations by the producers of sabotage on the part of cinema operators following the poor public response.
Questions were also raised over the producers' claim that the film had resulted in full house screenings throughout the country, with social media users sharing pictures of nearly empty cinema halls.
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, film director Al Jafree Md Yusop said box office film status could only be achieved through ticket collection.
He said the term "box office" itself referred to the counter for ticket sales, adding however that definitions of the phrase differ according to country.
In European countries such as France, he said, the size of the audience is taken into account rather than the collection of tickets.
"In Malaysia, RM1 million was once enough for a film to be considered a box office hit.
"But now, 'Mat Kilau' has set a new standard of up to RM90 million," he said, referring to the historical film which collected almost RM100 million after 46 days of screening in June last year.