Erik Matti on poor box-office performance of Filipino movies: "Government should intervene."

by Jocelyn Dimaculangan
Feb 8, 2019
<p>Erik Matti admits their film '<em>Tol</em> "didn’t make good business despite all the marketing fanfare."</p>
PHOTO/S: Mark Atienza

Erik Matti laments the dismal state of the Philippine movie film industry.

The veteran filmmaker observed that there are more Filipino movies being produced now, especially during the last three years. However, he said that only major film outfits have released box-office hits.

Through his Facebook account, he appealed to the government to address this issue.

Direk Erik wrote:

"The state of our film industry, the business of it, is in a dire situation. Someone should do something about it. Government should intervene. This is not a slow death anymore. We are on life support and we need resuscitation. No more pointing fingers. I think we’re beyond that at this point. This is a plea for help.

"The film industry is at its busiest the past three years but no one gets to see the movies we make except for the sporadic mega hits. Hundreds of movies are being made now but no one is really doing good business including the big studios. What happened to our local audience?


"The past three weeks several local movies were screened, including one of ours, and it didn’t make good business despite all the marketing fanfare."

Last January 30, Direk Erik's film outfit Reality Entertainment released the romantic comedy film 'Tol starring Arjo Atayde, Ketchup Eusebio, Jessy Mendiola, and Joross Gamboa.

Direk Erik also pointed out that the movie Elise of Regal Films and Hanggang Kailan of Viva Films also did not perform well in the box-office.

Enchong Dee and Janine Gutierrez top-bill Elise while Xian Lim and Louise delos Reyes are the lead stars of Hanggang Kailan.

"This week Regal and Viva premiered films and again it wasn’t received well at the box office despite all the marketing and promising stories. Even MMFF no matter how much they claim with pride that it was a hit, it wasn’t. It didn’t make as much money as the previous years. And instead of looking at the problem head on of the dwindling audience they just chose to deny it."

The filmmaker also speculated that the availability of Pinoy movies on online streaming sites could be a factor in the decline of viewership.


"Is it the online platforms killing us? Is it support of cinemas? Is it Hollywood? Is it bad marketing? Is it esoteric, irrelevant, tired or uninteresting stories? Is it traffic? Is it downloads? Is it poverty? Has our audience outgrown our films? I really don’t know at this point.

"All I know is, we cannot go on making movies where no one sees them. We cannot blindly just trudge along busily working on our films without thinking about whether all this passion is really worth it. We cannot keep on spending millions for movies that no one gets to see. This is alarming.


"This industry nurtures its artists with our local filmfests. We look after our filmworkers with so many films being produced. We strengthen ties on our international filmfest connections. We revel on the little things we accomplish and splash it on big bold letters in the headlines. But are we really doing something for the film industry where it matters most? Are we really getting our films to the audience it was actually made for? Or are we just bringing them to the small audience we embarrassingly deserve?"

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<p>Erik Matti admits their film '<em>Tol</em> "didn’t make good business despite all the marketing fanfare."</p>
PHOTO/S: Mark Atienza
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