[UPDATE on 21 Feb: Director of the successful two-part army film series Ah Boys to Men Jack Neo confirmed late Wednesday night that he will work on a third part, following "non-stop requests for Part 3".
In a tweet he sent on Wednesday night, Neo said in Mandarin that although he did not initially plan for a third episode, in response to popular demand and "strong support", he and his producers decided to accede and start work on one.
"After the release of Ah Boys to Men 2, everyone kept asking for 'part 3 part 3' non-stop, and all this support has made me really touched," he tweeted. "Given this, I would like to announce that we have decided to produce Ah Boys to Men 3, and we would like your suggestions."
The news was greeted warmly by Twitter users, with many adopting the hashtag #ahboystomen3. Neo's tweet was also retweeted more than 1,000 times.]
Earlier this week, Neo’s Ah Boys to Men 2 struck box office gold, becoming the highest-grossing local film of all time.
After its release at the beginning of this month, the sequel to the equally-successful first film of the same name has as of Tuesday garnered some S$6.297 million at the box office. The national service-themed movie continues to screen in cinemas after two-and-a-half weeks of numerous sold-out shows.
Distributed by Golden Village Pictures and Clover Films, the comedy wraps up the stories of a group of army recruits and their experiences in Basic Military Training at Pulau Tekong. The six “boys” were first introduced in Ah Boys to Men part 1, which in turn grossed $6.213 million. During its run in December, Part 1 became the top-earning local film in Singapore as well.
The success of the second installment of the series could be attributed to Ah Boys to Men 2 having, according to Neo, “a stronger story than its predecessor”, as well as a “more meaty” drama aspect.
The two-parter was also reportedly Neo’s most ambitious project in his film career, with Neo having also been responsible for Singapore’s previous top-grossing film of all time, Money No Enough (released in 1998). Money No Enough raked in more than $5.8 million during its time, although it received mixed critical reviews at the time of its release.
The New Paper reported previously that Neo promised, upon achieving this success, to skinny-dip in the Singapore River alongside members of his film cast. At a separate press conference, Neo also shared his hopes that Ah Boys to Men 2 will reach the $7 million mark during its run.
Check out a very entertaining "making of" for the two films here: