Nov 11
TAKOT AKO EH by Corie Henson  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Mon, Nov 11, 2013

In the last three years, the best seller in the MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) was comedy. Si Agimat at Si Enteng of Vic Sotto and Bong Revilla almost tied with Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last Na Ito) of Ai-ai Delas Alas as top grossers in 2010.

Vic Sotto rebounded in 2011 with his Enteng Ng Ina Mo, a collaboration with Comedy Queen Ai-Ai Delas Alas. In 2012, it was hands down for Sisterakas which raked in 342M in the festival alone. Vice Ganda, Ai-Ai and Kris Aquino produced Sisterakas.

Sa pag-alagwa ng comedy films ay bumubulusok naman ang kapalaran ng action movies. In 2010 RPG Metanoia, an animated action movie, did no good at the box office. Novelty pa naman ito dahil based sa computer games.

In 2012, El Presidente, an epic action, suffered heavily in the box office race. Prior to that, Manila Kingpin (The Asyong Salonga Story) had the same fate. Incidentally, both films starred and was produced by Jeorge ER Estregan.


In El Presidente look, Jeorge ER Estregan with Ghen Gabriel, female lead of Yakman.

Shake, Rattle and Roll, in the traditional horror with a tinge of comedy sometimes, thrived in the film festival with their 14th release in 2012. “Kumikita naman kasi kahit paano,” a theater booker said of Regal Film’s long running horror series.

Comparatively speaking in terms of budget, Shake, Rattle and Roll is economical to produce than the fantasy movies. At kadalasan pa ay wala namang heavy stars sa casting kaya medyo matipid talaga ang budget.

Worldwide, horror movies are getting a foothold. Perhaps the horror genre has been building a fan base unknowingly. Hindi man pumatok ang aswang sa local movies ay pumutok naman ang vampires sa international market.

Kahit sa American TV ay umaarangkada na rin ang genre ng horror. Hit na hit ang Walking Dead sa kanilang 4th series at nasa magandang puwesto sa rating ang mga werewolves at witchcraft.

Sa Hollywood ay hindi na halos mabilang ang kinita ng Blumhouse Productions ni Jason Blum. For a mere $27M capital in producing 8 movies in the last 5 years, Blumhouse’s bankbook swelled with $1.1 billion from the worldwide market.

Insidious: Chapter 2 earned $137 million from a budget of $5 million. A supernatural film, Insidious is the story of spirits and their relation to our dimension. Shown in 2013, Insidious starred Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, directed by James Wan.

Paranormal Activity, a very simple title, was about possession and exorcism. Another $5M project of Blumhouse Productions, Paranormal Activity 4 which was shown in 2012 earned $140 million.

Blumhouse Productions is coming up with their latest project The Purge, presumably for another $5M budget. Directed by James DeMonaco, the main cast are Lena Headey, Ethan Hawke, Tony Oller and Max Burkholder.


Jason Blum, owner of Blumhouse Productions. Photo from blumhouse.com.

Jason Blum, owner of Blumhouse Productions, admitted that he exerted extra effort in convincing big actors to join his production. Ang sabi ni Blum, “Basically, people work for free (in my projects).”

The scheme is for actors and other production people (like directors) to share in the profit. Siguro ay nagbibigay lang siya ng down payment, a small fraction of the agreed talent fee, tapos box office na ang bahala sa kasunod.

But it’s hard work for Blum who tirelessly visits agencies and studios to talk to people, to pitch his projects You have to personally talk to actors in order to fully convince them especially if the scheme is not commonly accepted in the trade.

We can take note of the peculiarities of Blum’s movies—bouncy camera and surveillance-style video. Horror and thriller movies should have the capacity to shock the viewers with the new style of cinematography.

This is the age of YouTube and mobile gadgets. Unlike in the big screen, the small screen requires more motion. Remember that movies intended for the big screen will ultimately go to the small screen of mobile gadgets.

Contrary to the scheme of Blumhouse Productions, RIPD was produced with a budget of $130 million. Not a straight horror like Blum’s movies, the horror/comedy RIPD earned way below the $100M mark.

In the local scene, moviegoers have mixed reactions on straight horror. The Strangers which had Julia Montes, Enrique Gil, Enchong Dee and JM De Guzman in the cast did not fare well in the festival box office race.

However, Kris Aquino’s Segunda Mano in 2011 placed second to Enteng Ng Ina Mo with P126 million. Dingdong Dantes played the psycho leading man of Kris while Angelica Panganiban was the vengeful ghost.


Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal Film

Pagpag, a straight horror will be taking a chance in the 2013 MMFF. Starring the youthful tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, Pagpag is directed by Frasco Mortiz and produced by the partnership of Regal Films and Star Cinema.

With the demise of Shake, Rattle and Roll, we are hoping that Pagpag will be taking the torch in continuance of the horror movie tradition of the MMFF.

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