Indonesian Horror-Comedy ‘Agak Laen’ Records Second Highest Admissions For A Domestic Film

With 7.35 million admissions at the box office, horror-comedy film Agak Laen has become the second biggest Indonesian box office hit of all time.

Released domestically on February 1, the film stars Bene Dion Rajagukguk, Oki Rengga, Indra Jegel, Boris Bokir and Tissa Biani Azzahra. It now only trails 2022’s KKN di Desai Penari, another horror title, which secured more than 10 million admissions.

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Four of the stars are part of a podcast group (also named Agak Laen), which has gained a large following since launching in 2022. The Agak Laen film has also released in Malaysia and Brunei.

Box office gross is not publicly available in Indonesia, with admissions numbers serving as the main data in tracking the performance of films.

Horror movies usually perform well at the Indonesian box office, but Agak Laen‘s producer Ernest Prakasa said that the formula for the film was a strong dose of comedy, bolstered by a script from comedian Muhadkly Acho, who also directed and actors who also ply their trade as comedians.

Prakasa — also a comedian — is co-owner and co-founder of production company Imajinari alongside Dipa Andika. Agak Laen is the studio’s third title.

“It’s very easy for horror movies to do well,” he told Deadline. “Generally speaking, you have less of a gamble when you release a horror movie, but in the midst of so many horror movies, we offered something quite different to the audience.

“Because of current political tension, it has created a demand for something that is entertaining. Laughter releases tension and when you can enjoy a theater full of people and laughing together, that’s a very relieving cinematic experience.”

Indonesia’s general election was held on February 14 and Prakasa shared that they planned the film’s release date with this in mind. “Because of the political tension, social media is full of bantering between the supporters of the three presidential candidates. We came in a moment where people are tired of quarreling and fighting over which candidate is the best,” Prakasa added. “We offered them something refreshing. That was something that we looked for when we planned the release date. Thankfully, it worked.”

Prakasa also added that Agak Laen attracted an unprecedented number of families as its audience, which took him by surprise. “We honestly didn’t expect so many families coming because the core audience of those four comedians for their podcast group were mostly youngsters, Gen Z and millennials. But for the cinema-goers, there were so many families, people brought their parents and their children, so that’s what made it so big.”

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