It is without a doubt that Artikulo Uno’s Heneral Luna is the biopic that successfully made historical film fans out of Filipinos. For until Jerrold Tarog depicted the unconventional patriot in Antonio Luna through John Arcilla’s raw and inspired performance, local moviegoers never really had the taste and enthusiasm to watch period films.
Fortunately for Viva Films, its upcoming biopic on the founder of Iglesia ni Cristo, Felix Manalo, may just benefit from the Filipino audience’s reintroduction to the value of historical movies.
Already, Vic del Rosario’s movie outfit began advance ticket sales for the Joel Lamagan epic on September 28 together with its partner cinemas. This will continue through to Felix Manalo’s opening day on October 7.
With versatile actor Dennis Trillo in the lead role as Iglesia ni Cristo founder and first executive minister, Ka Felix Manalo, the much talked-about movie now joins the illustrious ranks of such foreign blockbuster behemoths as The Avengers, Twilight and the Hunger Games series with its advance ticket sales across 300 theaters nationwide.
“Viva is doing this so that moviegoers raring to watch the highly-anticipated movie may avoid the long queues and mad rush on opening day,” said the company’s latest press statement.
Felix Manalo’s premiere night is set on October 4 at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, with an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 guests in attendance. The number includes over 100 stars who played special roles in the film.
The gigantic event, which will be viewed via a five-storey high (120 meters by 40 meters) screen, will vie for two Guinness Book of World Records for the largest audience attendance in a film premiere and film screening.