Assessing Malaysia’s creative industry: progress and policies in the case of the film industry

    Lee Yoong Hon Affiliation
    ; Ruth Lim Sheau Yen Affiliation


This paper explores the performance of local movies at the Malaysian box-office circuit to ascertain and analyse the extent of the reported improvements of the sector – it is hoped that the findings can provide a more objective assessment of the state of local films and the policies that have been aimed at cultivating improvements in the sector. Overall, the findings indicate that the local movie industry is still a long way from establishing a strong foothold even in its own domestic market.

Article in English.

Malaizijos kūrybinių industrijų vertinimas: kino industrijos pažanga ir politika


Straipsnyje nagrinėjamos vietos kino filmų charakteristikos Malaizijos komercinių įmonių atvejais, siekiant nustatyti ir išanalizuoti patobulinimų, apie kuriuos buvo oficialiai paskelbta, sektoriaus mastą – tikimasi, kad gauti duomenys gali suteikti kur kas objektyvesnį vietos kino filmų įvertinimą ir apibrėžti politiką, nukreiptą į šio sektoriaus patobulinimus. Apibendrinti duomenys rodo, kad vietos kino industrijai reikia dar daug nuveikti, kad įsitvirtintų net savo vietos rinkoje.

Reikšminiai žodžiai: komercinė įmonė, kultūros politika, užsienio kino filmai, vietos kino filmai, Malaizijos kino industrija.

Keyword : box-office, cultural policy, foreign movies, local movies, Malaysia film industry

How to Cite
Yoong Hon, L., & Lim Sheau Yen, R. (2019). Assessing Malaysia’s creative industry: progress and policies in the case of the film industry. Creativity Studies, 12(2), 224-245.
Published in Issue
Sep 30, 2019
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Advani, R. (2014). India’s popular culture in Southeast Asia. ISAS Working Paper 148. Retrieved from

Arteri. (2018). National Creative Industry Policy (DIKN). Retrieved from

Aziz, J., Hashim, H., & Ibrahim, F. (2014). Malaysian film industry in transformation: challenges and potential. Malaysian Journal of Communication, 30(1), 37-51.

Aznam Shah, Sh. (2017). Local films struggle at the box office. The Malaysian Reserve. Retrieved from

Barker, Th., & Yuen Beng, L. (2017). Making creative industries policy: The Malaysian case. Kajian Malaysia, 35(2), 21-37.

Begum, M. (2016). Finas Revises Skim Wajib Tayang Retrieved from (2018). Economic developments in 2018. Retrieved from

Box Office Mojo. (2019a). Box office Mojo. Retrieved from

Box Office Mojo. (2019b). China yearly box office. Retrieved from

Box Office Mojo. (2019c). Malaysia yearly box office. Retrieved from

Brody, R. (2019). The future of French cinema. The New Yorker. Retrieved from

Chee Kit, L., & Weng Chuan, L. (2012). Hollywood films and local films: a quantitative study on Malaysian young generations’ preference. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences. Retrieved from

Cohen, R. (1993). France and Spain impose quotas. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Crane, D. (2014). Cultural globalization and the dominance of the american film industry: cultural policies, national film industries, and transnational film. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 20(4), 365-382.

Daniel, J. (2013). Iron Man 3 execs “Changed film for Chinese audience” by adding four minutes to the film with Chinese actors. Mail online. Retrieved from

FIMI. (2017). FIMI. Retrieved from

Finas. (2019a). Corporate info. Retrieved from

Finas. (2019b). Data of cinema admission by language. Retrieved from

Finas. (2019c). Malaysian box office. Retrieved from

Finas. (2019d). Top 50 feature film. Retrieved from

Finas. (2016). Finas. Retrieved from

Finas. (2018). Malaysian annual reports, 1983–2016. Retrieved from

Hopewell, J. (2013). Hollywood stymied as Europe sticks with its limits on film and TV. Variety. Retrieved from

Hoskins, C., & McFadyen, S. (1991). International marketing strategies for a cultural service. International Marketing Review, 8(2). Retrieved from

Insun, Ch. (2018). Risk or chance: “The liberalization of foreign film imports” and its impacts in Korea and Japan. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 24(1), 68-84.

Jäckel, A. (2007). The inter/nationalism of French film policy. Modern & Contemporary France, 15(1), 21-36.

Kamal, H. A. (2016). What’s wrong with local movies? New straits times. Retrieved from

King, T. (2007). Does film criticism affect box office earnings? Evidence from movies released in the U.S. in 2003. Journal of Cultural Economics, 31(3), 171-186.

Koay, A. (2014). Malaysia’s ever-growing entertainment industry. Retrieved from

Lee, F. L. F. (2008). Hollywood movies in East Asia: examining cultural discount and performance predictability at the box office. Asian Journal of Communication, 18(2), 117-136.

Lepore, S. M. (2015). The biggest low-budget hits of 2015. New York Daily News. Retrieved from

Malek, N. H. A. (2019). Malaysian movies gross over RM150 m in 2018. Malaysian reserve. Retrieved from

Mitkus, T., & Nedzinskaitė-Mitkė, V. (2017). Promoting competitiveness in creative industries: changes and trends of Lithuanian film industry in 21st century. Creativity Studies, 10(1), 14-25. (2018). 2018 THEME report. Retrieved from

Ortman, Ch. (2019). New report: global theatrical and home entertainment market reached $96.8 billion in 2018. News. Retrieved from

Oxford Economics. (2013). The economic contribution of the film and television industries in Malaysia. Retrieved from

Palansamy, Y. (2016). Finas DG calls for review of Putrajaya’s mandatory screening policy. Malay mail. Retrieved from

Pang, L. (2005). Copying Kill Bill. Social Text, 23(2), 133-153.

Parc, J. (2017). The effects of protection in cultural industries: the case of the Korean film policies. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 23(5), 618-633.

Raj, S. J., & Sreekumar, R. (2013). Desi turns malay: indian cinema redefined as crossover in the Malaysian market. In S. Khorana (Ed.), Crossover cinema: cross-cultural film from production to reception. Series: Routledge Advances in Film Studies (pp. 153-166). New York and London: Routledge.

Richeri, G. (2016). Global film market, regional problems. Global Media and China, 1(4), 312-330.

Rosnan, H., & Abdul Aziz, Z. D. (2012). Film business in Malaysia: challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(12), 198-202.

Scott, A. J. (2000). French Cinema: economy, policy and place in the making of a cultural-products industry. Theory, Culture & Society, 17(1), 1-38.

The Economist. (2019). Hollywood goes global: bigger abroad. Retrieved from

US Inflation Calculator. (2019). Consumer price index data from 1913 to 2019. Retrieved from

Vany, De A., & Walls, W. D. (1996). Bose-Einstein dynamics and adaptive contracting in the motion picture industry. The Economic Journal, 106(439), 1493-1514.

Vany, De A., & Walls, W. D. (1999). Uncertainty in the movie industry: does star power reduce the terror of the box office? Journal of Cultural Economics, 23(4), 285-318.

Vogel, H. L. (2011). Entertainment Industry economics: a guide for financial analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Walls, W. D. (2009). The market for motion pictures in Thailand: rank, revenue, and survival at the box office. International Journal of Business and Economics, 8(2), 115-131.

Wie Boon, S. (2016). Lights, camera, Malaysia: why the Malaysian film scene has been in a slump, yet everyone wants to be a director. Esquire. Retrieved from

Wyatt, E., Cieply, M., & Barnes, B. (2012). U.S. Scrutinizes Hollywood Deals in China. International Herald tribune. Retrieved from

XE. (1995–2019). XE currency charts: USD to MYR. Retrieved from

Yoong Hon, L. (2014). Experts versus audience’s opinions at the movies: evidence from the North American box-office. Marketing Bulletin 25. Retrieved from