MANILA, Philippines?It has been a record-breaking year for the Metro Manila Film Festival.
Total earnings for the two-week festival, which started on Dec. 25 last year and ended on Wednesday, reached an all-time high of P450 million?the biggest single-year gross in the 34-year history of the MMFF.
The 2008-09 take surpassed the 2006 record of P415 million.
The total gross was 20 percent higher than the 2007 MMFF, which posted a P380.3-M aggregate, according to Dominic Du, member of the screening committee of the film fest.
Star Cinema?s ?Ang Tanging Ina N?yong Lahat? is the top-grossing entry, earning P171 million. The film eclipsed its first installment, ?Tanging Ina,? which made P170 million in 2003, according to Malou Santos, Star Cinema managing director.
Santos told the Philippine Daily Inquirer: ?In times of crisis, people want to be entertained and watch comedy movies.?
De las Alas, ?Tanging Ina? lead star, agreed: ?Napakahirap na ng buhay ngayon, kaya for a movie to make over P100 million in seven days is a miracle. Divine intervention ito.?
?Ang Tanging Ina N?yong Lahat? earned P107 million on the seventh day of the two-week festival.
The second top grossing film, OctoArts/M-Zet/APT?s ?Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After? that reunited the trio of Tito, Vic and Joey on the big screen, also surpassed the P100 million mark with a P107 million take.
At third place is the tenth installment of a horror franchise, Regal?s ?Shake, Rattle & Roll X,? with P68 million.
Regal?s other entry, ?Desperadas 2? was at fourth place with P49.3 million. Viva Films? multi-award winning period film ?Baler? took P35.8 million and placed fifth. OctoArts Films? ?One Night Only? stood at sixth with P10.5 million while the animated film ?Dayo sa Mundo ng Elementalia? garnered seventh place with P5.6 million. Maverick Films? ?Magkaibigan? ended up last with P2.1 million.
The total earnings for this year?s film fest (P450M) is just P50 million shy of the target set by MMFF and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Bayani Fernando, according to Ric Camaligan, film fest executive committee member and head of the National Cinema Association of the Philippines.
In an earlier interview, Fernando told the Inquirer that this year?s ?mix of commercial and quality films is bringing the film fest closer to the P500 million target.?
The MMDA spearheads the annual film fest.