Pacquiao's 'Wapakman' a box-office bomb?

by Boy Villasanta,

Posted at Dec 29 2009 07:45 PM | Updated as of Dec 30 2009 04:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao may be enjoying worldwide recognition and international accolades, but his acting career seems to be going down the drain.

Proof of this was the dismal showing of his latest film, “Wapakman,” in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).

As of December 29, 4th day of its screening, Pacquiao’s comic fantasy tale has earned P3 million only in box office receipts, according to Alex Romero, a staff of Solar Entertainment, the film’s producing arm.

This was measly compared to other MMFF entries.

As of press time, Imus Productions and GMA Films’ “Ang Panday” has already earned a whooping P50 million. OctoArts Films’ “Ang Darling Kong Aswang” and Regal Multi Media’s “Shake, Rattle & Roll XI” followed closely.

Drama pieces like Star Cinema’s “I Love You, Goodbye” and Regal Entertainment’s “Mano Po 6: A Mother’s Love,” and RVQ Productions’ comic offering, “Nobody, Nobody but Juan,” have also grossed multi-million pesos in box-office sales.

“Wapakman” also failed to clinch any prize at the 35th MMFF awards night.

Understandably, Pacquiao is affected by this news, according to Wilson Tieng, Solar’s bigwig.

Tieng said he advised the international boxing sensation to just “take it lightly.”

“He’s very realistic about it. It affects him but I told him to just take it lightly,” the Chinese businessman recounted.

Tieng declined to comment when asked if the raging controversy about Pacquiao’s rumored romance with co-star Krista Ranillo has contributed to “Wapakman’s” dismal performance at the box office.

Tieng is optimistic though that “Wapakman” can still make up the losses once it’s shown abroad.

“We will show the film abroad and make money there,” said Tieng.

Although devastated by the performance of his film project, Tieng is still thinking of other ways to recoup his investment.

“We also have other bookings in other areas of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ric Camaligan, MMFF executive committee member, announced that this year’s festival has grossed a total of P150 million on its 4th day.

“We are targeting P500 million gross this year,” Camaligan exclaimed.

The results of Monday’s awards night, he also noted, have significant impact on the current and future showing of all 7 entries nationwide. He expected that all the awarded films and performers would draw more support from moviegoers.