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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.

Jul 11, 2019


aga and nadine with viva boss vic del rosario

kris aquino and derek ramsay

vic sotto and maine mendoza

vice ganda & anne curtis

IT’S NOT ONLY local movies that show a poor performance at the box office these day. Even in the U.S., they just experienced a series of flops with big summer popcorn flicks like “Godzilla: King of Monsters”, “Dark Phoenix” and “Men in Black II”. Only the Marvel superhero extravaganzas seem to attract crowds, like “Avengers: Endgame” which earned billions of dollar worldwide, and now, their newest hit, “Spider-Man: Far from Home”. Then there’s also “Toy Story 4”.

That “Godzilla” and company flopped is not surprising because they were all badly done and so boring. People obviously avoid bad movies, whether local or Hollywood, especially movies that give you the feeling that you’ve seen it all before. They’d rather stay at home and watch the latest season of “Game of Thrones”, “Stranger Things” and “Little Big Lies” with Meryl Streep.

Besides, there are just now so many other options for entertainment available at everyone’s fingertips, like live streaming, unlike in the 60s to the 80s when watching movies in stand alone theaters rules as it was then the cheapest form of entertainment.

Now, movies in theaters really face so much competition as most young people would just rather surf on the internet and monitor their cellphones for the latest social media entries. Their priority now is their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, for which they don’t even have to shell out money like they do when they buy expensive movie tickets.

Sad to say, the quality of storytelling in most local films has really gone from bad to worse. If you cannot deliver movies that people are surely going to enjoy, then prepare to lose your investment because people won’t watch movies with unlikely pairings like Janine Gutierrez and Enchong Dee or Jake Cuenca and Kris Bernal.

So, unless you can prepare and offer something better, then just be prepared to see the box office results of local films continue to nose dive and for the movie business never to recover its former glory. Maybe you can just start switching gears and prepare for a digital future of providing streaming content. As of now, local producers are just setting their sights on the annual Metro Filmfest when local films have a captive audience. For this coming December, four movies have already been accepted based on their submitted scripts: “Kampon” - a horror movie starring Kris Aquino and Derek Ramsay, produced by Quantum Films.

“Momalland” - a comedy with Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, Tony Labrusca, co-produced by ABS-CBN Films and Viva Films.

“Miracle in Cell No. 7” - remake of a hit Koreanovela tearjerking drama starring Aga Muhlach and Nadine Lustre, produced by Viva Films.

“Mission Unstapabol: The Don Identity” - an action-comedy with Vic Sotto and Maine Mendoza, produced by APT Entertainment and MZet Productions.

As you can see from the choices, the primary consideration is the box office bankability of these very commercial projects. No indie films at all but movies with familiar stars like Vic and Vice who always have perennial entries in the festival every year. Maybe the entries with more artistic quality will come in the next four entries that will be submitted as completed projects, just like what happened last year with “Rainbow’s Sunset”, which eventually went on to win the lion’s share of trophies in the filmfest awards night.