Local cinema has been having a phenomenal year. As of this writing, a total of five films have breached the elusive 100-million-peso mark in terms of box office revenues and at least two or more movies are expected to join the elite list.
This is a significant improvement from last year when four films, excluding Metro Manila Film Festival entries, earned more than tenth of a billion pesos.
Fact is, in September and October, local flicks had experienced the same reception given by the movie going public to Hollywood pictures that flooded our cineplexes. Some might find it hard to believe but even in upscale theaters, a known turf of big Hollywood releases, locally made pictures are enjoying warm treatment.
According to Star Cinema, John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo starrer film The Mistress is currently the highest-grossing local movie of the year earning more than P300 million (or P262 million according to third party tabulator, Box Office Mojo). Although nothing compared to The Amazing Spider-Man or The Avengers’ local revenues, it is still the best number a local film has produced in 2012.
Following The Mistress, and still in the running to becoming a record-breaking flick, is another Star Cinema production, This Guy’s In Love With U Mare!. The comedy film that tells the unlikely love triangle of Toni Gonzaga, Luis Manzano and Vice Ganda scored over P197 million in two weeks.
John Lloyd Cruz has a second entry (third for Star Cinema) on this prime run down of top films. Unofficially Yours, which also starred Angel Locsin and released early this year, finished off its four-week run in the theaters with P157 million.
Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme, a Spring Films and Star Cinema co-production, earned P100 million in two weeks and grossed over P133 million after its final screening.
Meanwhile, the films which are set to join the ranks of these box office hits are GMA Films’ big budget comedy horror Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles, Viva Films’ sexy drama A Secret Affair, and Star Cinema’s romantic flick Suddenly It’s Magic.
Based on a report on 24 Oras, Tiktik’s six-day cumulative ticket sales was P80 million (a breakeven for its production budget). With that, the hopes are high because the movie is still on its third week.
A Secret Affair earned P100 million in six days according to Viva, but unfavorable reviews weaken the boost it badly needs to equal or surpass the box office earnings of No Other Woman, which most people associate with it.
On the other hand, the romantic film starring Erich Gonzales and Thai heartthrob Mario Maurer is said to have cast the biggest first day opening this 2012. It debuted with an estimated P30 million worth of movie tickets trouncing the first day performance of The Mistress (P25 million) and This Guy’s In Love With U Mare! (P23 million).
With these impressive numbers, the 100-million-peso mark seems not too elusive after all. And if this is an indication that a new life is being pumped into the film industry, it’s logical for critics to expect production houses to churn out brilliantly crafted films in the months and years to come. Otherwise, their impression that mainstream films only mean business and artistic integrity is a least priority will just remain.
Here is the list of top-grossing Filipino films in 2012 (source: Box Office Mojo, as of Nov. 6, 2012)
1. The Mistress – P262.79-M
2. This Guy’s In Love with U, Mare! – P238.7-M
3. UnOfficially Yours – P157.25-M
4. Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme – P133.33-M
5. The Healing – P104.6-M
6. A Secret Affair – P95.17-M
7. Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles – P69-M
8. The Reunion – P68.1-M
9. Moron 5 and the Crying Lady – P64.6-M
10. Born to Love You – P52.37-M