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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.

Jan 12, 2019

Why Local Movies Are Flopping One After Another

THERE WAS a time when the playdate right after the Manila Filmfest was much coveted by local producers. It’s not surprising that they’re all scrambling to show their new releases right after the festival because moviegoers are eager to watch new local films. But lately, this is no longer sadly the case.

The last movie that did well right after the filmfest was “Bride for Rent” from Star Cinema starring Kim Chiu and Xian Lim in 2014.  Right after that, all the films shown immediately after the festival didn’t do well at the box office, starting in 2015 with “Tragic Theatre” from Viva starring Andi Eigenmann which really did tragically at the tills and “Edsa Woolworth” where the entry of moviegoers was as slow as the traffic at Edsa, from Star Cinema starring Pokwang (but at least, that’s where she met her partner and dad of her baby, Lee O’Brien.)

This was followed in 2016 by “Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin” from Viva and the viewers really obeyed the title, lumayo nga sila sa movie. To think this is a star studded trilogy led by Maricel Soriano and Herbert Bautista. In 2017, it’s the sexy action comedy from Star Cinema starring Jessy Mendiola and Coleen Garcia, “Extra Service”, which had no happy ending at all despite the offer of something extra.

Last year, the movie that opened right after the filmfest was Regal’s “Mama’s Girl” starring Sofia Andres and Diego Loyzaga, a movie that proved to be a jinx for both of them since they’re now both out of circulation. And this year, the movie that did the honors to continue this trend is “Boy Tokwa” starring Jose Manalo. As of this writing, it has been pulled out from several theaters while, in a few remaining mall theaters, it’s now being shown with limited screening hours, alternating with other movies that attract more viewers.

But what do you expect? The movie was hardly promoted. It seems they made the shooting of the movie a big secret and everyone was just surprised when, one week before the playdate, they suddenly had a presscon to announce its showing. What were they thinking? That is simply not enough time to promote a movie.

Before, during they heydays of Regal, we remember Mother Lily inviting us to the first shooting day of her new movies. This is to foster awareness early on that such a movie is in the process of being made. Now, when we interview today’s stars and ask them: do you have a new movie? Their answer is: “Meron po pero hindi pa raw puedeng i-announce ang details. Secret pa raw po.”

Ha ha ha! Isn’t that a big laugh? Instead of promoting their movie, they’re keeping it a secret. We cannot understand the logic, honestly. Then they’ll hold a presscon for the movie about a week or two just before its playdate. No wonder local films are flopping one after another. Simply because they’re being released in theaters with moviegoers hardly knowing that there is such a movie that has been made. Isn’t that the height of stupidity? You all deserve to flop!