THE 44th Metro Manila Film Festival drew to a successful close on Jan. 7, with the festival’s chairman announcing that they had not only surpassed last year’s gross but also recorded the highest ever take in the film festival’s history.
“Despite the incessant rain during the holiday season, we braved and survived the storms and have created new records,” Danilo Delapuz Lim, chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), said in a statement posted on the film festival’s Facebook page on Jan. 8.
The same statement announced that over its two-week run from Dec. 25 to Jan. 7, the festival earned P1.060 billion, P10 million more than the 2015 record which saw Wenn V. Deramas’ Beauty and the Bestie and Jose Javier Reyes’ My Bebe Love contributing much of the box office sales.
The 2018 festival saw MMFF regulars Jose Marie “Vice Ganda” Viceral, Rodel “Coco Martin” Nacianceno, and Marvic “Vic” Sotto starring in the films which earned the biggest box office.
The top four MMFF films based on gross sales receipts, according to MMFF Spokesperson Noel Ferrer in an Instagram post on Feb. 10, were (in no particular order): Aurora by Yam Laranas, Fantastica by Barry Gonzales, Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles by Michael Tuviera and Mary, Marry Me by RC delos Reyes.
Of the four top grossers, only the producers of Aurora revealed their movie’s box office take, saying in a post on Cinema Bravo’s Facebook page that the film earned P107 million.
The other entries in the festival were: The Girl in the Orange Dress by Jay Abello, One Great Love by Eric Quizon, Rainbow’s Sunset by Joel Lamangan and Otlum by Joven Tan.
“We are happy to announce that most of the film entries are still on extended run in cinemas nationwide. Everyone can still catch these films,” Mr. Lim said in his statement.
A cursory inspection of the Web site of SM Cinemas, arguably the biggest cinema operator in the country, showed that only Aurora, Fantastica, and Jack Em Popoy are showing in their cinemas.
This year, the MMFF will commence with its 45th run and Mr. Lim said in the statement that they want to “prepare for it early on.”
“We look forward to more significant and groundbreaking entries and activities that would further develop the audiences’ love for Filipino films, develop and discover new talents through the student short films and maximize exposure and linkages with international festivals,” he said. — Zsarlene B. Chua