Local movies will now open on Fridays, a move meant to help PH film industry’s box office numbers 

Inside a movie theater in the Philippines. Photo: Mark Demayo/ABS-CBN News
Inside a movie theater in the Philippines. Photo: Mark Demayo/ABS-CBN News

Will this make things better?

After several directors lamented that the Filipino movie industry hasn’t been faring well at the box office, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chief announced yesterday that several parties have agreed to move the opening days of local movies to Friday from Wednesday.

FDCP Chairwoman Liza Diño-Seguerra announced on her Facebook account that the FDCP met with theater owners, producers, and distributors who all agreed to make the change.

She wrote: “Since the goal is to achieve concrete results, one of the achievements is the agreement to switch the opening day of cinemas from Wednesday to Friday.”

However, Seguerra didn’t say when this change will be implemented. “We still have to wait until the rest is finalized for this to take effect, but at least we are moving forward.”

The opening dates of all local movies always fall on a Wednesday. Some industry insiders believe that this practice is killing the industry because most audiences prefer to watch during weekends.

Local movies that bomb during their first and second day are usually pulled from cinemas and replaced with another movie, usually a Hollywood film. This practice, according to industry insiders, prevents Filipino producers from recouping their investments.

Many believe that if movies were shown on weekends, local movies will have a better chance of performing well, and cinema owners will think twice about pulling them out.

Prior to this development, local movies were reportedly tanking at the box office, which led director and producer Erik Matti to pen a Facebook post calling for government intervention to save the industry. Matti’s observations were also shared by director Quark Henares.

In her post, Seguerra appeared delighted that those in attendance talked and listened to each other calmly, a far cry from what occurred in the past.

“For so many years, people were expressing their discontent in different platforms, causing for parties to be villified (sic) without any recourse to verify these concerns in proper venues and to listen where each is coming from.

“But yesterday was a good gauge to see the next hundred years of Philippine cinema. A new beginning perhaps…so we can all be hopeful for the future of this industry.

“At the end of the day, we have but one common goal: to support, nurture and uplift our local film industry,” she wrote.

All of the comments were happy with the development, including Matti who wrote: “Finally, people have talked to each other.”

Matti also attended the meeting.

Photo: Screenshot from Liza Seguerra's Facebook account
Photo: Screenshot from Liza Seguerra’s Facebook account

Jag Garcia wrote that the change was a leap for the Philippine film industry.

Photo: Screenshot from Liza Seguerra's Facebook account
Photo: Screenshot from Liza Seguerra’s Facebook account

Abe Pagtama said the change makes sense.

Photo: Screenshot from Liza Seguerra's Facebook account
Photo: Screenshot from Liza Seguerra’s Facebook account

Will this change encourage you to watch a local movie? Leave a comment below or tweet to @CoconutsManila.


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