All’s well that ends well between Viva and Star Cinema

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RICKY CALDERON

Is it true that Star Cinema allegedly tried to stop the run of “The Barker,” starring Empoy Marquez and Shy Carlos? The said offering from Blank Pages Productions and Viva Films was originally scheduled to open in cinemas on October 4.

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An insider told Roving Eye that when Star Cinema learned that Viva Films went into a co-production arrangement with Blank Pages Productions, the movie-making arm of ABS-CBN Network allegedly asked the latter to return Viva’s investment and accept a co-production deal with them instead.

Star Cinema obviously invoked their right over Empoy since they signed up the now suddenly hot comedian in 2015, even if they failed to give him any projects since then. As such, they allegedly told Blank Pages they release The Barker because Empoy did not ask Star Cinema’s permission to do the film.

Long story short, Blank Pages was told they will be able to release the movie provided they enter a Star Cinema production.

“Naghahabol sila,” said our source. “Hindi pa naipalabas at kumita ang ‘Kita Kita’ ay ginagawa na ni Empoy ang The Barker kaya nagulat ang Blank Pages sa paghahabol ng Star Cinema na gusto nila mag-produce. Pero hindi na pwede kasi nag-offer na ang Viva at tinanggap ito ng Blank Pages.

“Of course, hindi naman papayag ang Viva to be eased out of the deal with Blank Pages. But all’s well that ends well. Boss Vic del Rosario of Viva and Malou Santos of Star Cinema were able to iron things out. Kaya wala nang problema at tuloy na ang playdate ng The Barker on October 25,” our source added.

“The Barker,” which is the directorial debut of comedian Dennis Padilla, hopes to prove that the success of Kita Kita, which starred Empoy and Alessandra de Rossi is no fluke. So Viva and Blank Pages are praying for hit in The Barker.

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October is the anniversary month of “Bubble Gang,” the longest-running gag show on Philippine TV, which is marking its 22 years on the air. As expected, Bubble Gang’s think tanks and its producers are happy to reach this impressive milestone.

One big reason why Bubble Gang has remained on top is due to its talented creative director who happens to be Michael V. With Bitoy on top of everything, Bubble Gang has remained a favorite comedy viewing fare every Friday night.

When asked to cite the success for the gag show’s longevity, Bitoy says Bubble Gang has evolved with the times.

“We embraced change. We are always attuned with the times. Pag may uso, asahan mo na una mo yan mapapanood sa show. Kahit na kami ang longest-running gag show, we didn’t become complacent. We are constantly evolving, trying to find ways and gimmicks to make the show even better. We owe it to our audience to make the show interesting every week, 22 years and counting,” said Bitoy.

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