Mike de Leon, Quark Henares give two cents on status of PH film industry

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2019 05:57 PM

MANILA -- Film directors Mike de Leon and Quark Henares gave their own views on the status of the Philippine film industry.

This, after Erik Matti expressed alarm over the "dire situation" the film industry is in.

According to De Leon, the country's economy has an effect on the decline in the number of moviegoers.

"With the rising prices of food and gas, cheaper cellphones or the deteriorating political situation, maybe your local audience has more important things to think about than watch movies," he said on Citizen Jake's Facebook page.

Henares also gave possible reasons behind the lackluster performance of recent releases at the box office.

Among them is the prices of movie tickets, which may seem too expensive for the average moviegoer.

"Most Pinoys who watch Pinoy films are from the C and D socioeconomic class. But movies are upwards of P250 these days, resulting in the average Pinoy moviegoer watching a whopping 2 films a year. That's why the MMFF is such a big event, because it's usually that one other time a Pinoy will go and watch a movie," he wrote on Facebook.

Henares also noted Hollywood movies tend to be more popular than local films, and thus, earn more in the box office.

"Hollywood really is the juggernaut. Top 5 highest-grossing films of all time in the Philippines? Infinity War, Beauty and The Beast, Civil War, Iron Man 3 and Avengers 2. I think Vice Ganda's Super Parental Guardian's is somewhere in the top 10, but that's about it," he said.

"Back in the day you could pit a Ramon Revilla film head to head against a Clint Eastwood movie. Economies of scale just doesn't allow that anymore," Henares added.

The popularity of streaming services, Henares noted, has also affected movie-watching habits.

"Why go out, brave traffic, pay for parking and buy popcorn and drinks, spending at least P500 for the whole ordeal when you can just stay home and binge-watch 6 episodes of 'YOU,' paying the same amount per month?" he said.

For Henares, the government can help the local film industry by not imposing a tax on movies.

"Studios pay amusement tax and then VAT, so a movie has to make 3x its cost to break even," he said.