Star Cinema goes head to head with Viva Films

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RICKY CALDERON

Is Star Cinema willing to lock horns with Viva Films, which has been its partner in several blockbuster movies?

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Well, it seems there is no such thing as camaraderie for Star Cinema since the moviemaking arm of ABS-CBN is pitting the John Lloyd Cruz-Jennylyn Mercado starrer Just the 3 of Us, against the Viva produced This Time, starring the popular love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre on May 4.

The John Lloyd-Jennylyn starrer was supposed to open on April 30 but since it is would have to compete with Hollywood blockbuster Captain America: The Civil War, Star Cinema decided to move its playdate to May 4.

Screenwriter Mel del Rosario was piqued by this move from Star Cinema and posted: “April 27 pa rin ba ang playdate nyo? Tapos na pala shooting nyo at 4 parts sa post, aabot naman kayo sa 27th. BALAK N’YO PA RIN BA TUMAPAT SA THIS TIME-JaDine movie? Sayang naman para sa 2 local movies.”

Jennylyn Mercado and  John Lloyd Cruz

Jennylyn Mercado and John Lloyd Cruz

Since local movies are hard pressed to make money with stiff competition from big-budgeted Hollywood films, we understand Del Rosario’s rant over having two local movies clashing with each other at the box office. Since Star Cinema’s original playdate was really the 30th and they had finished the film in time for their target, why didn’t they go for it?

We read somewhere that allegedly Star Cinema was not given any theaters for Just the 3 of Us since most cinemas had been allocated for Captain America. So instead of fighting the Chris Evans-Robert Downey, Jr.-starrer, Star Cinema decided to change its playdate, and inadvertently go head to head with the JaDine movie.

We hope that this move by Star Cinema doesn’t backfire. We understand it’s a business decision but if they consider Viva Films as partners (remember they were co-producers in many blockbuster movies), then could have instead chosen a different playdate altogether rather than compete with This Time.

All the same, JaDine fans refuse to be intimidated by any kind of competition that supporters abroad have even declared they will send their relatives money to watch their idols’ movie.

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Nadine Lustre and James Reid

Nadine Lustre and James Reid

We are tired of promises from other politicians who, during the campaign period, would say they will help the entertainment industry. But once elected, they hardly lift a finger to draft laws that would benefit producers down to the crew of movie and TV sets.

We hope that former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla is not from that mold. We are inclined to give him the benefit of doubt.

We met Petilla in a press confab for the entertainment press and since he loves watching movies as a form of relaxation, we hope he will not be one of those “politicians” wooing the support of the entertainment sector and once elected, will conveniently disappear together with the promise to help the entertainment industry.

We’d like to think that since he loves watching movies, he would be enticed to help the entertainment sector which had been neglected each time a new administration takes over the nation.

Petilla said that movies could actually help propel the nation forward if properly harnessed. He gave Heneral Luna as an example of a film that is both entertaining and informative. “It was good. It made people think. We should have more of these kind of films—which are powerful and relevant to current times,” he said.

Petilla believes government should be more active in helping the local movie industry produce more quality films and this is one of his priorities if elected senator.

“I would like to push for legislation that would help our local film industry to grow and develop,” he says, adding that he would also propel the creation of an expanded film festival that would cover provinces.

He will also push for laws that would require government help subsidize films that could compete in international film festivals.

Among Petilla’s keen desires is to harness Filipino talent on a global scale.

“I think government should support initiatives to boost and develop local talent. Activities supporting art, music and sports should always be considered priority programs,” he says.

If elected senator, Petilla plans to create more stringent measures against music piracy.

“I think piracy is a serious problem in this country inasmuch as it affects both film and music industries. While there are laws against it, the problem is more on implementation. Government should intensify their campaign to prosecute offenders,” he adds.

If ever Petilla is elected senator, we hope that he will also find a way to help the industry when it comes to its tax woes (it is heavily taxed). It is also our wish that whoever will be elected president will treat the entertainment sector as a viable industry. The entertainment industry employs many people who ought to be protected as well just like a regular employee.

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