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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 4, 2011

The most bankable leading men

WE WERE talking to a network executive who deplores the lack of really bankable leading men. At ABS-CBN, no doubt the most bankable is John Lloyd Cruz, who does both films and TV shows that are hits, whoever he is paired with. They also succeeded in turning Gerald Anderson bankable minus his love team with Kim Chiu now that his film with Sarah Geronimo, “Catch Me, I’m In Love”, is a blockbuster. Former lead like Piolo Pascual, Diether Ocampo and Jericho Rosales have somehow lost their luster, although Piolo is still very much in demand as an endorser. At GMA-7, the reigning leading men are Richard Gutierrez and Dingdong Dantes.

Among bankable lead actors of the 80s, the drama leads then were Aga Muhlach, Richard Gomez, and Gabby Concepcion. Aga is the only who has maintained lead status, what with his films with younger leading ladies like Ann Curtis and Angelica Panganiban doing well at the tills. He has a new leading lady in Angel Locsin in his latest film to be shown in May, “Huling Sayaw”. This will be a test case if he could still carry a film on his own since, on TV, his last TV shows, including the one with Ai Ai de las Alas, was not as well received as his last hit, “Oki Doki Doc” that ran for several years.

Richard now play villain and father roles, and so does Gabby, whose film with his own daughter, KC Concepcion, was a dismal flop at the box office even if Jericho Rosales was also in the cast. There was a big to do when he came home after 14 years of self exile in the U.S. His movie with Angelica Panganiban, “And I Love You So”, was a hit, but then, real life beau Derek Ramsay was there, too. The horror flick he did later, “White House”, failed to make waves at the box office. It’s said he’s all set to do a reunion movie with ex-wife Sharon Cuneta. No doubt theirs was the hottest love team of the 80s. Let’s see if their fans would be still around to support their tandem in the new millennium.

Among action stars, only Robin Padilla has managed to maintain his star status, doing hit action series on TV. His new movie with real life wife, Mariel Rodriguez, “Tum, My Pledge of Love”, will be a test case for him also if he could still pull the audiences inside the theatres.