Syafiq Yusof didn’t think he could beat the box-office collection set by the horror movie Munafik, directed by his older brother Syamsul Yusof.

The movie – released in 2016 – earned over RM17mil.

“That movie is too powerful for me to beat. I think it’s on another level,” he said during an interview in Kuala Lumpur back in September.

At that time, Syafiq had just released Abang Long Fadil 2, an action-comedy starring Zizan Razak.

Zizan plays a jobless man who gets himself caught up in the underworld.

Syafiq was not optimistic about Abang Long Fadil 2’s box office potential based on his survey at a cinema on the first day of release (Aug 18).

“I bought tickets for a 7pm show and saw that there were only four people in the cinema. I remember feeling hopeless. Then, I felt worse when I found out that someone had leaked the whole movie on social media,” he recalled.

The illegal recording – which was removed after a police report was made – could’ve been a blessing in disguise. Over the weekend as word-of-mouth spread, the movie gained traction on social media. The collection for Abang Long Fadil 2 grew to RM4mil. In 13 days, it made RM13mil.

Another Abang Long Fadil movie?

Abang Long Fadil 2

What will happen to Fadil in Abang Long Fadil 3? Photo: Astro Shaw

On Oct 2, production company Astro Shaw issued a statement confirming that Abang Long Fadil 2 had become the new No. 1 Malaysian movie of all-time with a box-office collection of RM17.9mil, earned in just 39 days.

Syafiq not only exceeded Munafik’s collection, he also ended Polis Evo’s two-year reign as the top Malaysian movie.

To date, Abang Long Fadil 2 has made RM18.15mil. This year, no other local movie comes close to Abang Long Fadil 2’s collection as other major 2017 releases J Revolusi and Tombiruo: Penunngu Rimba trailed with a paltry RM7mil and RM8mil, respectively.

Syafiq is not resting on his laurels; he is set to direct Abang Long Fadil 3 in 2018.