The use of sexual innuendos in movies and television is a common practice, as it is perceived as the most effective way to elicit attention.
In this very same manner, Regal Films introduced its opening salvo for 2013, Seduction.
In early January, sexy pictures of Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati surfaced on the Internet. Then steamy snippets from the movie hit the video sharing sites.
Those images, by advertising and publicity standards, were enough to draw the public’s attention. It’s also good to note that in December, the controversy involving Sarah and her mother studio that lead to a lawsuit added buzz to the movie via a free publicity.
Apparently, none of these worked in Seduction’s favor. The film stumbled at the box office raking in a measly P3.6 million on its first week, a rather disappointing figure compared to the box office returns of the films exhibited on the same week (Jan. 30 to Feb. 3). Star Cinema-released Chinese Zodiac led the Philippine Box-Office chart with P35.9 million, followed by Warm Bodies (P6.15 million) and by Gangster Squad (P5.57 million) in close third place.
Bookers say the film grossed around P6 million and that figure didn’t change as most of the theater owners pulled out the film after two weeks. But how can a sexy movie starring GMA Network’s most priced star flop at the tills? A director known for directing award-winning movies directed it. Has Peque Gallaga lost his touch? Or this just confirms that Richard Gutierrez is no box-office attraction, and despite his supposed real-life relationship with co-star Lahbati?
Many argue that Seduction was released at the wrong time. The Metro Manila Film festival has just bombarded local theaters with second-rate movies and the public now craves for real big screen entertainment worth their money. It’s just an unfortunate event that Seduction’s release date coincided with the showing of Jackie Chan’s much talked about action comedy.
In reality, it is a lame excuse to say that Seduction was pitted against foreign movies that is why it failed big time. Look at the romantic film A Moment In Time. It had stiffer and bigger competition when it was released two weeks ago. The Julia Montes and Coco Martin starrer film managed to earn more than P34 million on its first week amid the presence of Fox International’s A Good Day to Die Hard and Pioneer’s Safe Haven. It goes to show that it’s not really the timing that affects the movie’s performance at the box office.
Most local film producers and directors, forget that the single most important factor in a film is the story itself. Be it a sexy or a comedy flick, it’s crucial that moviegoers must have a take away after leaving the theaters. Also, movie directors have this responsibility to make sure that the right messages are sent across and understood by the audience. They must guide the actors to channel the right acting asked by the script. It is just unfortunate that Peque Gallaga appears to have missed all of these things making his comeback film a cinematic disaster.