‘Kita Kita’ earnings more than P300M
“When it earned P2 million on its first screening day, I thought that was already a box-office hit,” said Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, director of the romantic comedy flick “Kita Kita,” which crossed the P300-million mark on Tuesday, three weeks after it hit the cinemas.
Producer Joyce Bernal confirmed the good news to the Inquirer on Thursday afternoon.
“Its earnings are now past P300 million,” said Bernal, third of the triumvirate that makes up Spring Films, the production outfit behind the project. The other two are actor Piolo Pascual and talent manager Erickson Raymundo.
Heneral Luna surpassed
Yes, “Kita Kita,” which features Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez, is now the most successful independently produced Filipino film, surpassing the record of the 2015 biopic “Heneral Luna,” which earned P257 million.
“We were happy to have earned P20 million to P50 million from it,” Bernal said of the P10-million project that was shot entirely in Hokkaido, Japan.
“All of us are feeling overwhelmed by what’s happening to our small film. We don’t know how to react to this—all of us seemed to have forgotten how to count from one to 10.”
Bernal was referring to what De Rossi’s character, Lea, kept mentioning in the film: When you are feeling angry or overwhelmed, you should first count from one to 10 before reacting.
Bernal said it was Bernardo’s work as writer and director that made the film a success.
“To be honest, what we are seeing in the cinemas right now is not the director’s cut but what we call the film’s ‘commercial version,’” he said.
“But now, we realized that it still worked no matter which version we see. We say that it was a gem of an idea.”
From the heart
Bernardo said she simply “did the best that I could to tell the story from my heart … The success of ‘Kita Kita’ should not be based only on what the film has earned. I am more amazed by how people reacted to it. Everyone suddenly became a critic and posted their reviews of the film online.”
The director added: “Their reviews are all so lengthy. I am happy that Filipinos are now becoming more critical in watching movies, and I am thankful to the overwhelming support of colleagues from the independent and mainstream industry. It’s a happy film, I guess. It’s a repolyo (cabbage) film.”
“It’s a good feeling when mainstream and independent filmmakers come together to support a film—it’s healthy for Philippine cinema,” Bernardo said.
Bernal said pairing De Rossi and Marquez in a rom-com (romance comedy) was their attempt at breaking the mainstream norm.
“Rom-com is not just about Piolo or John Lloyd (Cruz), or those heartthrob type of guys,” she pointed out.
Bernal added that Spring Films was working on another Marquez starrer. “We’ve agreed to do this even before ‘Kita Kita’ became a success. We’ll also have another film with Alessandra and then we’ll pair them up again in another project.”
As for Bernardo, she would shoot a movie for Viva Films in October. “Yes, this is officially my first mainstream film,” the director said of the project featuring Ryza Cenon and JC Santos.
“But I’m planning to start the production of my film ‘I’mPerfect’ this year if we could find financiers for it.”
“I’m Perfect” was first introduced at the 2016 Cinemalaya Pitching forum and won the best pitch.
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