MANILA, Philippines – Vice Ganda's "The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin" is leading the box office race on the opening day of the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on Christmas.
Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which oversees the film fest, is expecting a 10% increase in ticket sales this year based on the turnout of viewers who went to theaters Thursday.
“Ang opening natin noong nakaraang taon ay P128 million,” said Tolentino in an interview on DZMM.
“Ngayon po as of 3 p.m. ang tingin namin ay mahihigitan. Itong crowd kasi ngayon hindi alam na maaga ang bukas, may dadagsa pa. Ang tingin namin ay baka mahigitan pa ng 10 percent yung kinita noong nakaraang film festival.”
Although Tolentino did not yet release the official numbers, he said "The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin" is lording the box office as of 3 p.m. on Thursday.
“Ang number 1 po as of 3 p.m. kanina ay yung 'Praybeyt Benjamin,' 'yung number 2 and number 3 neck-and-neck po ang labanan ng 'Feng Shui 2' at ang 'My Big Bossing’s Adventures.' Number 4 ay ‘yung 'Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles,'" he said.
Other films being shown are "Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo," "English Only, Please," "Magnum Muslim .357," and "Shake, Rattle and Roll XV."
The "Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin" is the 2014 sequel of the 2011 action-comedy hit “The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin.”
Tolentino said they will release the official numbers on Thursday night at the end of the opening day.
“Hanggang muna po siguro kasi mamayang gabi pa po ang pagsasara kasi inaasahan po namin na dadagsa ang mga kababayan natin ngayong gabi, dahil hindi alam ng iba na maagang nagbukas kanina. Pero bukas po siguro maaga na sila (mga manonood),” said the MMDA chairman.
Tolentino said the tickets sales usually affect the placing of the films in the MMFF Awards.
The awards night will take place on December 27 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
“Kung anong resulta nyan, historically nakakahatak po yan sa Best Picture (award),” he said.