Article: Top Ten Thai Low Budget Movies Which Proved To Be Blockbusters

Thailand’s cinema is one of the fastest-growing and most internationally renowned entertainment industries globally. In terms of finances, Thai movies have done very well domestically, and many have been box office hits internationally. Few of Thailand’s most beloved movie genres are action, romance, teen, comedy, horror, crime, historical epics, and LGBTQ+. A characteristic feature of Thai cinema is that no matter which genre of Thai films, most films have comedic elements. Here are a few of the best Thai movies that had small budgets but became blockbuster hits.  (Continued…)

1. Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)

Directed by Prachya Pinkaew, starring Tony Jaa Ong-Bak is one of Thailand’s highest-earning martial arts movies. The movie deals with themes of action, martial arts, gangs, and organized crime. It follows the story of Ong-Bak, an ancient Buddha statue that gets stolen from a village. Ting (Tony Jaa), a villager skilled in Muay Thai, goes to Bangkok to find the stolen artifact. The movie earned a worldwide box office of $24,100,856, which is 21.9 times the production budget. Two prequels was released in 2008 and 2010, Ong-Bak 2 and Ong-Bak 3, respectively.


2. Pee Mak (2013)

Pee Mak is a supernatural comedy-horror movie based on Mae Nak Phra Khanong, a well-known female ghost, and folktale in Thailand. Mak (Mario Maurer), after serving in the war returns home to his pregnant wife Nak (Davika Hoorne). Mak invites four soldiers he became friends with during the war, to his hometown. The four friends learn that Nak is dead and is a ghost. It is Thailand's highest-grossing movie. Its box office earnings are 1,000 million Baht (nationwide) or $33 million in total. The movie was a major commercial success with its comedic ode to Thailand’s best-known folktale.


3. I Fine..Thank You..Love You (2014)

It is a light romantic comedy movie directed by Mez Tharatorn. Pleng (Preechaya Pongthananikorn) is an English tutor. One day she helps her student, Kaya (Sora Aoi), dump her boyfriend Gym/Yim (Sunny Suwanmethanon) because she doesn't speak Thai and he doesn't speak Japanese. Gym on learning that Pleng helped Kaya blame her for the breakup. He asks Pleng to teach him English and hopes to win his girlfriend back. She is reluctant however agrees to do so. The movie earned $10,657,812 or 357 million Baht and was one of the highest-earning movies of 2014 in Thailand.


4. Luang Pee Jazz 4G (2016)

Jazz 4G, directed by Poj Arnon, is a comedy movie filled with Thai humor. The movie earned 154.27 million Baht at the domestic box office. The film shows Jazz (Padung Jazz Chuanchuen Songsang), who was a leader of a local thug group decide to become a Buddhist monk because of his many troubles in life. As a newly ordained monk, Jazz is sent to Bangkok to study religion. He has to use his old tactics after learning that the monks in the temple were committing a crime.


5. ATM: Er Rak Error (2012)

It is a romantic comedy movie with significant box office success earning 152.5 million Baht. Sua (Chantavit Dhanasevi) and Jib (Preechaya Pongthananikorn) are two career-oriented individuals that have been secretly dating for five years because of a “No Fraternization” policy in the bank that they work.They decide to get married, but neither is ready to resign. One day an ATM malfunction in Chonburi province occurs, which doubles the money it dispenses. the main leads then make a bet that whoever recovers the lost money from the ATM first will retain their job while the other resigns.


6. Brother Of The Year (2018)

Chut (Sunny Suwanmethanon) and Jane (Yaya Urassaya Sperbund) are siblings and live together. To Jane, Chut is the older brother, but he doesn’t act like one, Jane is the Younger sister but Chut thinks she acts just like their mother. Jane is good at everything she does, and the only time Chut can show his authority as an older brother is when Jane is involved in romantic relationships. The movie earned 146.14 million Baht and was a blockbuster hit in Thailand.


7. Tootsies & The Fake (2019)

Tootsies and the Fake is a spin-off of the Thai TV sensation ‘Diary of Tootsies.’ It is a comedy movie where clumsy creative artists knock a celebrity unconscious and find a lookalike for a commercial shot. The film was a box-office hit with 140.02 million Baht domestically.


8. Friend Zone (2019)

Friend Zone tells the age-old story of a boy in love with his best friend and the struggle to make the boundaries clear. Palm (Nine Naphat Siangsomboon) is in love with Gink (Baifern Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul) for ten years. During high school, Palm confessed, but Gink rejected him. They have since become best friends. Ten years later, Palm has not lost his hope yet. The movie earned 134.15 million Baht.


9. Bad Genius (2017)

Bad Genius is an internationally acclaimed Thai movie. A series based on the movie was released in 2020. The movie earned $42.35 million as of 2017, Bad genius is a blockbuster hit. The film follows Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying), a top school student that was accepted into a prestigious school. Lynn helps her friend Grace (Eisaya Hosuwan), Pat (Grace’s Boyfriend), and his friends cheat for the exams. Bank (Chanon Santinatornkul), another top student, reveals her cheating scheme but Lynn doesn’t stop here.


10. One Day (2016)

Denchai (Chantavit Dhanasevi) is a shy IT guy in a company. He secretly has a crush on his colleague Nui (Nittha Jirayungyurn). During a company trip to Hokkaido, Nui gets into an accident while skiing and suffers from temporary amnesia, which lasts only for a day. Nui wakes up to find herself with only Denchai, who tells her that they are a couple to experience just one day of being with her. This movie earned 110.58 million Baht and was a commercial success.