By Famarie Battung
If gauged by the number of films shown, 2004 was not a good year for the movie industry. A meager 52 films were produced and released including the entries in the Manila Film Festival and Metro Manila Film Festival.
JANUARY – Puri
FEBRUARY – Milan * U-Belt * Duda * Kuya
MARCH – Annie B. * Ligaya Mo Kaligayahan Ko * Karibal * Otso-Otso * Pamela Mela Wan
APRIL – Masikip sa Dibdib * Animal * Check Inn
MAY – I Will Survive * Kirot sa Dibdib * All My Life * Sinful Nights
JUNE – Singles * Sabel * Kulimlim * Volta * Naglalayag * Mano-Mano 3 * Anak Ka ng Tatay Mo
JULY – Kainan sa Highway * Beautiful Life * Liberated 2 * Perlas
AUGUST – Makamundo * Now That I Have You * Karelasyon * Hamog sa Bukang Liwayway
SEPTEMBER – Tag-init * Feng Shui * Takaw Tingin * Krisanta, Iba Ka
OCTOBER – Tukso si Charito 2 * Room Service
NOVEMBER – Forever My Love * Bukas May Umaga * Santa-Santita * Bcuz of U * Minsan Pa
DECEMBER – Nakaw na Sandali * Salat sa Ligaya * Mano Po 3 My Love * Aishite Imasu 1941 * So Happy Together * Panaghoy sa Suba * Spirit of the Glass * Enteng Kabisote * Sigaw * Lastikman
On a brighter note, the lesser the films but the higher the quality. Two films namely, SANTA SANTITA and PANAGHOY SA SUBA earned the Cinema Evaluation Board’s respect for an A rating. That means the two said films got a 100% rebate on amusement taxes for reaching the standard of quality set the by CEB. Further, there were 12 films which got a B rating for a 50% tax rebate.
Profit earners were mostly comedy and suspense movies. Vic Sotto’s Enteng Kabisote surpassed the 100 million mark in the recent Metro Manila Film Festival. Another good hitter at the box office was Kris Aquino’s FENG SHUI.
On the other hand, some touted to be good quality movies unexpectedly withered in the tills. Cesar Montano’s Panaghoy Sa Suba and Aishite Imasu 1941, both of an epic proportions, failed miserably in terms of box office sales. Another big loser is the big-budgeted and heavily-casted Mano Po 3 My Love which was shot in foreign shores.
The romance genre was not spared of ill-fate although Milan was able to go beyond the break-even mark. Some say that Piolo Pascual and Claudine Barretto are the biggest factors. But some also say that the panoramic location shots in Italy greatly contributed to the film’s box office success.
Overall, the 2004 films seemed to be on the losing side against the piracy and proliferation of cable TV. Add to this the raging network war which is grabbing a large part of the audience, the movie industry is on its knees begging for support.
The recent MMFF was not as successful as predicted because it barely touched the 350 million target of gross sales. But in terms of audience awareness, the MMFF was truly a success as can be seen by the numerous new movies in the offing. Hopefully, the performance of the movie industry in 2005 will exceed expectations and inject life to the yawning state of condition of the once lively movie industry.