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More local movies hit the cineplexes

/ 12:15 AM August 23, 2017

John Lloyd Cruz (left) and Sarah Geronimo in “Finally Found Someone”

For over a decade now, Filipino movies have been scarce at the big cineplexes, “colonially” upstaged by imported blockbusters.

The indie film scene has been busy and bustling, but only a few of its products have made it to “mainstream” screens—or have been peremptorily pulled out because they fail to financially “perform.”

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But the good news is that local movies could finally be staging a resurgence, with more local titles, mainstream and indie, reaching and touching cineplex audiences. At long last!

The numbers have it. In the old, cold days, only one Filipino film would make it to the main theater circuits per month—two, if we were lucky. Years later, the number of “survivors” increased, but not by much.

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During those yawning years of filmic famine, our movie people really suffered, their products snittily snubbed by the moviegoing populace, in favor of the bigger and “better” blockbusters from Holly-Gollywood!

Of late, however, local viewers have belatedly been rediscovering the pertinent value of Filipino films.

Just last month, for instance, cineplex theaters screened two hits, “Finally Found Someone,” with Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz, and “Kita Kita,” with Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez.

In addition, the youth-oriented chiller, “Bloody Crayons,” and other independent productions were also shown.

The upward ascendancy is sustained this month, with “100 Tula Para kay Stella” (starring Bela Padilla and JC Santos), which was part of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, “Woke Up Like This” with Vhong Navarro, “Love You to the Stars and Back” with Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto.

Other recent Filipino movies include the May-June releases, “Dear Other Self” with Jodi Sta. Maria, “Can We Still Be Friends” with Gerald Anderson and Arci Muñoz, “Luck at First Sight” with Jericho Rosales and Bela Padilla and “Bliss” with Iza Calzado.

In terms of big box office, the local movies that have scored at the tills include “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “My Ex and Whys,” aside from some of the titles already cited.

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With five or six local titles in the 2017 hit parade thus far, the current film year is shaping up as a profitable season for Filipino producers—even before including the potential blockbusters, “compromisingly” lined up for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival.

Particularly upbeat is the recent coup scored by the indie movie “Kita Kita,” which did even better than the “star-valued” “Finally Found Someone.”

The feat suggests that local viewers may no longer be as kneejerk and “star-limited” in their preferences as before.

Yes, both hit films are rom-coms, but they’re significantly different in approach. And the fact that the “indie” did even better than the “maindie” makes us hope that  the times—are indeed a-changing!

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TAGS: cineplexes, Filipino movies, local movies
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