The film No Other Woman top-billed by Anne Curtis, Derek Ramsay and Cristine Reyes is breaking box office records. After four weeks of commercial release, it has surpassed the record set by Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz’s 2009 film, You Changed My Life.
According to Box Office Mojo, a third party movie revenue tracker, No Other Woman has earned an estimated P267 million, a new record for a Filipino film. Besides topping another Star Cinema and Viva Films joint venture, the film made a significant P15 million opening day earning amid a strong typhoon that ravaged the metro.
Unlike the Sarah and Lloydie’s movie that was shown in theaters for seven weeks, the Anne, Cristine and Derek starrer picture has an adult theme, a sudden shift from Star Cinema and Viva Films’ romance-comedy themed features.
The movie that centers on a man’s journey towards building a career and a family, but along the way, his ambition and reputation are tarnished by a single adulterous act, clearly states a trend—a movie does not have to always be on the safe side to lure moviegoers. Similarly, a film should not always be of general patronage to rake in big bucks at the tills.
No Other Woman is one of the three pictures in 2011 that earned more than P100 million (with Star Cinema’s Catch Me…I’m in Love and In the Name of Love being the other two), and the only film this year that breached the elusive P200 million mark, a very unfamiliar accomplishment to movies released by GMA Films, Regal Films and of other lesser known movie outfits.
It is not impossible for the romance-drama to even earn more than P300 million as the word of mouth keeps the interest on the film high. The Internet, which normally destroys the chances of movie due to unfavorable reviews, has become a very friendly territory for the film as rabid and ordinary fans alike continuously hype the movie. Online searches on No Other Woman movie lines surges most especially of those that came from Anne Curtis. It is no ordinary feat for a movie released in recent years.
No Other Woman has made box office history but how does it actually fair compared to its Hollywood counterparts that are dominating local theaters? Though our devoted moviegoers still prefer high octane action and visually arousing scenes with special effects that can only be produced in Hollywood studios, No Other Woman’s numbers are enough or even safe to assume that local producers can still come up with something better.
The resounding commercial success of the movie can be attributed to the cast and the story itself. It is not the best movie by far but its ticket sales are as good as what Transformers 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part Two) earned their commercial run in the Philippine theaters. It is high time that local film outfits produce more out-of-the-box movies that are not necessarily untraditional but those that do not follow the templated plots Star Cinema is known for.
Indie vs maintream
In speaking box office earnings, two independent films have also made a distinction after they were exhibited commercially. Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank and Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington can now be considered as the top-grossing independent Filipino films of all time. The first raked in P30 million while the latter has earned P32 million. It’s interesting to note that mainstream movies My Neighbor’s Wife, Way Back Home, The Adventures of Pureza: Queen of the Riles, and Tum: My Pledge of Love earned lesser that these low-budget productions.
For an industry, that is the independent filmmaking, which has a very small number of following, it’s already an incredible achievement. No wonder even the now fledging Regal Films is banking on independent filmmaking to make up for the loss of big budget movies that stumbled at the tills.
Focusing the spotlight on Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank, there’s so much buzz surrounding that indie film lately when some people reported that it’s part of the Oscars Foreign Language Film shortlist. The reports are misleading and they give false hopes especially to those who believe that the indie film has high chances of winning, though it’s highly unlikely if we are to consider the Academy Awards high artistic taste.
Although the film is the country’s official entry, there is one more stage before we can call a film a part of the shortlist, and another different stage before it becomes an official nominee. The shortlist is determined by a committee, consisting of several hundred members who screened all eligible films. The second phase will narrow down the list of films to five nominees, with committees in New York and Los Angeles casting their ballots.
But setting that buzz aside, Ang Babae has already succeeded. There are many Oscar-worthy mainstream films that do not even qualify as an entry. Let us just cross our fingers that the Academy, which is known for its strange choices of winners especially in the Foreign Language Film category, favors the Marlon Rivera directed film. Otherwise, we would have to look back and sift through the piles of unsuccessful films that the Philippines sent as an entry and reevaluate what is wrong and what is lacking with locally produced movies.