The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), through its Facebook page, has released a statement regarding the box-office results after the annual festival opened in cinemas nationwide on December 25, 2017.
Not only did this year’s MMFF break box-office records, surpassing the 2015 first and second day gross sales, it also tripled the foot traffic to the theaters compared to last 2016.
2015 was the year the MMFF ended with a combined box-office gross of over P1 billion for all its official entries.
The MMFF Execom announced through its December 28 statement:
"On the third day of MMFF 2017, we have surpassed the total gross of the entire run of MMFF 2016.
"True to their word, the theater operators have given more screens to the awarded films."
Now on its 43rd year, this edition of MMFF features eight official movie entries namely All of You, Ang Larawan, Deadma Walking, Haunted Forest, Meant to Beh, Ang Panday, Siargao, and Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad.
It will be recalled that MMFF 2016 was able to gross P373.3 million during its ten-day run.
Last year's edition, which took place from December 25 to January 3, 2016, was four days shorter than usual.
This year's edition, which ends on January 7, 2018, gets 14 days of exclusivity for Filipino films.
Last December 27, MMFF Execom Chair Tim Orbos was quoted as saying in its statement, “The big achievement is bringing back our kababayans to the theaters. It took quite some time before we saw this kind of enthusiasm once again from the Filipino viewers.”
The statement also says that people have flocked to the theaters to support the all-Filipino film lineup, which “went through grueling screening from an esteemed Selection Committee headed by no less than National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera.”
The MMFF also expressed its commitment to making quality productions for the satisfaction and enrichment of general film audiences.
In a separate interview on CNN Philippines, MMFF Execom member and spokesperson Noel Ferrer explained why no box-office numbers are being released this year, unlike in 2016.
"The producers, Executive Committee, and theater owners vowed (at least nasa rule) na walang maglalabas ng official ranking and official gross [sales] because they want to help all the films. We are only as strong as our weakest member. Pag nilabas mo yan, may bandwagon effect. Kawawa naman," explained Ferrer.
The fine for preempting the release of box-office numbers has also been increased from P20,000 to P200,000 this year. In addition to the fine, once proven that a production outfit released the said numbers ahead of time, it will not be allowed to join the MMFF in 2018.
Ferrer said the official box-office results will be released at the completion of the MMFF, which will end on January 7, 2018.